Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 Feb 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
February 6, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 Feb 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below. 

CDR Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri began the day by conducting the 3-hr. Soyuz descent (“spusk”) training exercise that is standard procedure for each crew returning on a Soyuz.  The exercise, focusing on theoretical study of procedures, was supported by a tagup with ground experts at TsUP/Moscow via U.S. S-band.  [The training session, scheduled at this time because of the upcoming EVA-9 (which could require crew contingency return), included a review of the pertinent ODFs, specifically the books on Soyuz Insertion & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situation Procedures.  Special emphasis on nominal operations with the new Neptune-ME “cockpit” console had already been provided by Sasha to Yuri Malenchenko during the previous handover activities on 10/24/03.  During the nominal descent in April, Soyuz-CDR Kaleri will occupy the middle couch, with FE-1 André Kuipers in the left seat and FE-2 Mike Foale in the Descent Module’s right “Kazbek-U” couch.  Kuipers will arrive ten days earlier in 8S/Soyuz TMA-4 with the Expedition 9 crew of Mike Fincke and Gennady Padalka.  Expedition 10 (TMA-5, 10/9/04): Leroy Chiao & Salizhan S. Sharipov.]

Kaleri continued cargo transfers from the Progress resupply ship, assisted by a detailed Russian and US transfer/unpack list and the IMS (inventory management system).   [U.S. and Russian specialists, supported by Mike’s downlinked video footage, are working on sophisticated planning to alleviate the growing stowage problem, particularly in the U.S. segment (USOS).  Extended stowage planning is also being developed for the 8S docked mission, to better organize the necessary complex crew handover & cargo transfer activities.]

Science Officer Foale performed scheduled termination activities on the 13P-delivered hardware of the U.S. GAP (group activation packs) Yeast experiment.   [The experiment uses yeast cells to study how microgravity is altering the cells’ makeup and potentially their function.  Yeast cells are eukaryotic, i.e., they contain a distinct nucleus bound by a cell membrane very similar to mammalian cells.  The latter would be difficult to study in microgravity due to the large and complex makeup of their genome (i.e., the entire group of genes that make up each living creature and determine its traits). Yeast cells are far simpler and have a much smaller, well-characterized genome.  The yeast cells are being cultured inside GAPs — a cell growth and storage system developed by BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado in Boulder.  Two GAPs were delivered on 13P, each containing eight FPAs (Fluid Processing Apparatuses) that hold the yeast cultures, growth medium and fixative (a chemical used to preserve the cells for post-flight examination).  To terminate the two GAPs, Mike turned a hand crank on top of each container, releasing the fixative.]

The crew did their nominal physical exercise on the TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser and VELO cycle with load trainer.

The CDR attended to the regular weekly task of transferring data files from the exercise equipment to the medical equipment computer (MEC) via memory card and RED log entries, for downlink on OCA comm.  Later, he conducted the periodic transfer of accumulated data files from the wristband HRM (heart rate monitor) receiver stations to the MEC for downlink, after which he deleted them on the HRM to clear its memory.  

Subsequently, Foale conducted the regular routine status checkup on autonomously running Inc. 8 payloads in the Lab and completed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system, while Sasha Kaleri prepared the daily IMS delta file for automatic export/import to update the database.

In addition, Mike performed the regular once-a-week maintenance reboot on the operational PCS laptops and also restarted the OCA comm router laptop (every two weeks).

In the Service Module (SM), Foale took the periodic reading of the cabin air’s current CO2 partial pressure, using the U.S. CDMK (CO2 monitor kit), for calldown to MCC-Houston (along with the battery status) for use in trending analyses.

At 8:50am EST, both crewmembers participated in an interactive televised educational PAO event, engaging in live conversation with educators at the 10th Annual ISS Educators’ Conference at Space Center Houston, TX,   [More than 700 educators are meeting this week at the Conference, to learn how to use the ISS to inspire students’ interest in science and mathematics.]

Troubleshooting of Khladon-218 (Freon) undertemperature on the Russian SKV-1 air conditioner (which led to its recent shutdown) shows that it was caused by the failure of pump #2 on the replaceable pump panel #2 (4SPN2) of the SM’s internal thermal loop 2 (KOB2).  Impact: loss of some cooling redundancy in the Russian segment.   [Since both pumps on each (of two) pump panels must be operating for it to work, there was an automatic switchover to pump panel #1.  Until a replacement for the 4SPN2 pump panel can be manifested on a future flight (there is no spare onboard), the operation of the KOB2 loop is limited to the remaining pump panel, i.e., is non- redundant.  KOB1 remains intact, but because of design and layout its use may set off periodic SKV-1 shutdowns due to low Khladon temperature.]

Onboard consumables (food, water, prop, oxygen, nitrogen) are tracking well above skip cycle limits.  RED canister cycle life and TVIS roller bearing life are also at comfortable levels.

Today’s CEO (crew earth observations) targets, in the current XPOP attitude constrained by flight rule to fewer near-vertical targets due to Lab window shutter closure and current condensation-prevention plan (limited to 90 min. in 24 hours), were Plankton blooms, N Arabian Sea (Dynamic event.  Vigorous efflorescence in the Gulf of Oman and northern Arabian Sea, especially along the coastline of Iran and Pakistan.  Looking for color variations), Lahore, Pakistan (nadir pass over Pakistan’s major northern city), Urumqi, China (nadir pass over China’s oil boom town in central Asia), Kinshasa, Zaire (looking a touch left for this major city, on the south shore of Stanley Pool, the very visible widening in the Congo River), SW Sudan inland deltas (views were requested from nadir rightward up to 5 deg off track, to show this major elongated region of continental sedimentation [the Muglad basin], an ancient rift basin that contains hydrocarbons), Rome, Italy (nadir pass:  looking inland 10 miles from the easy-to-find Tiber River delta), Saharan dust, Atlantic (Dynamic event.  Looking right towards West Africa from this pass over the open ocean.  Weather satellites show a major outblow of diffuse dust haze into the ocean.  Obliques and images of the dust margin were requested.  Saharan dust reaches the Caribbean every month of the year), Snow cover, Alps (Dynamic event.  Clear weather for panoramas of the mountain chain.  Looking right as ISS paralleled the north side of the Alps), and Bahamas coral reefs (PRIORITY. Detailed images of coral reefs and shallow submarine shelves were requested).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:36pm EST).

Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) and Thermal Control (TCS):

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On.  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Automatic Mode).  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is on Standby (ready in dual-bed mode).  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating.  MCA (major constituents analyzer) is off (in Life Extending Mode).  BMP Harmful Impurities unit: absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is On; SKV-2 is Off (repair incomplete).
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 25.8; ppO2 (mmHg) — 159.5; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.5;
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 20.2.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 756; temperature (deg C) — 22.3.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 750.25; temperature (deg C) — 24.0 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 752.49; temperature (deg C) — 24.8; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 752.69; temperature (deg C) — 29.0; shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.1, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 23.1
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 13.7.

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Autotrack (suntracking) and bias-angled 45 deg. for drag reduction. 
  • SM batteries:  Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is failed (to be replaced); battery #7 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #3 is off (capacity restoration mode, ROM); battery #1 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (4) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 in Standby mode; PCU-2 in Standby mode.

Command & Data Handling Systems:

  • C&C-1 MDM is prime, C&C-2 is back-up, and C&C-3 is in standby.
  • GNC-1 MDM is prime; GNC-2 is Backup.
  • INT-2 is operating; INT-1 is Off.
  • EXT-2 is On (primary), EXT-1 is Off (both now upgraded to R3).
  • LA-1, LA-2 and LA-3 MDMs are all operating.
  • PL-1 MDM is Off; PL-2 MDM is Operational.
  • APS-1 (automated payload switch #1) and APS-2 are both On.
  • SM Terminal Computer (TVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string 1 dropped out 11/22).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string #3 dropped out 10/22).

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available: 4115 kg (9072 lb) as of 2/5/04  [SM(755) + FGB(2701) + Progress M(0) + Progress M-1(659)].  (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Attitude Control Systems:

  • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed).
  • State vector source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Attitude source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Angular rate source — RGA-1

Flight Attitude:

  • LVLH  YVV (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, y-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -90 deg, pitch: -9 deg, roll: 1.7 deg]), with CMG/TA (thruster assist) Momentum Management.

Communications & Tracking Systems:

  • FGB MDM-1 is powered Off; FGB MDM-2 is operational.
  • All other Russian communications & tracking systems are nominal.
  • S-band is operating nominally (on string 2).
  • Ku-band is operating nominally.
  • Audio subsystem is operating nominally (IAC-1 is prime, IAC-2 is off).
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • HCOR (high-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 based at MBS PDGF #1/LEE B, with Keep Alive (KA) power on both strings.
  • MBS: KA power on both strings. 
  • MT: latched and mated at WS4. 
  • POA: KA power on both strings.
  • RWS (robotics workstations): Lab RWS is On (DCP connected); Cupola RWS is Off.

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 6:28am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 367.9 km
  • Apogee — 372.9 km
  • Perigee — 362.8 km
  • Period — 91.9 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0007539
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.67
  • Solar Beta Angle — -43.3 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 85 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 29765

For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.