Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 Feb 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
February 9, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 Feb 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  First weekend rest day for CDR/SO Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri.

The crew performed the regular 3-hr. Saturday task of station cleaning.   [“Uborka stantsii” focuses on removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, wet cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table and other surfaces with disinfectants (“Fungistat”) and cleaning of fan screens to avoid temperature rises.]

Foale tended the PromISS-3 (Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope 3) experiment in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), today removing tape #4 and installing tape #5.

In the Service Module (SM), Kaleri started another regeneration cycle on absorbent bed #1 of the BMP harmful impurities removal unit, leaving channel 2 in Purify mode.  [The “bakeout” cycle in the filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

Sasha also completed the weekly routine maintenance and inspection of the Russian life support systems (SOZh).

The crew conducted the weekly planning conference with the ground, discussing next week’s “Look-Ahead Plan” (regularly prepared jointly by MCC-H and MCC-M planners), via S-band/audio.

Kaleri had his weekly PFC (private family conference), via VHF/IP phone.

The crew worked out on TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser and VELO cycle with load trainer.

At 11:00am EST, Foale and Kaleri conducted their monthly teleconference with ISS Program Management via S-band/audio, usually on Saturdays.

The FE supported a radio test during an amateur (ham) radio pass over Russia.

Working from the Russian “job jar” task list, Sasha downloaded measurements recorded during the recent (1/1-1/8/04) session of the Molniya-SM/LSO experiment from the LSO memory to HDDs (hard-disk drives) on the EGE-2 laptop for return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-3 (7S).   [Objective of the unattended Molniya-SM session, similar to the French LSO experiment, was to record storm phenomena and other related events in the Earth’s equatorial regions.  The experiment is controlled from the French EGE-1 laptop, loaded with orbital sighting predictions using an up-to-date NORAD tracking TLE (two-line element) provided by NASA.  Objective of LSO is to study rare optical phenomena occurring in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, so-called “sprites” (i.e., puzzling glow phenomena observed above thunderstorm clouds).  LSO was originally part of Claudie Haigneré’s French “Andromeda” payload package of taxi mission 3S that could not be performed as planned during Increment 4 due to an ISS flight attitude conflict.]

The planned depressurization of the “Volume D” space between the Lab science window’s two pressure panes is scheduled for next Wednesday (2/11), with the installation of the new 13P-delivered flexhose jumper.   [Procedures were uplinked for the activity, which will be done very slowly with a QD (quick-disconnect) throttling technique, designed to avoid flash condensation of any humidity in Volume D.  The crew will first practice the throttling technique by using male and female NOAPs (nitrogen/oxygen pressure adapters).]

MCC-M/TsUP uplinked the timeline for the lengthy sequence of preparations necessary for the upcoming EVA-9, as well as for the egress/ingress and post-EVA activities.   [Preparations include the DC-1-to-Soyuz ingress training in Orlan suits on 2/19, the procedures for configuring the ISS to unmanned ops mode, testing Soyuz TMA-3 functions, and getting the Progress 13P ready for departure, as well as the sleep shifting required to accommodate the exacting training, preparations and pre- & post-EVA activities.  The two-man spacewalk will take place on 2/26, with egress from the DC-1 “Pirs” module at ~4:15pm EST.  Hatch closure, after a nominal duration of 5h 40min, will be at ~9:55pm.]

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Eight — 14h):

GASMAP:   Looking forward to upcoming operations.

Human Research Facility/Workstation (HRF WS):   Continuing.

Advanced Ultrasound:   Planned.

Hand Posture Analyzer (HPA:  Looking forward to future operations.

In-Space Soldering Investigation (ISSE):   Nothing new.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI):   Looking forward to future operations, after the PromISS operations.
Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS):   Mike was thanked for rebooting the SAMS ICU this week in time to capture data for the 13P docking.
Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS):   MAMS OSS and HIRAP captured 13P docking.

Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES):  Behaving nominally.

Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope (PromISS):  Mike Foale was thanked for an excellent week of PromISS.  The experimental conditions are optimal. The MSG work volume temperature has been very stable since the activation time, at 25degC +/- 0.2degC. The optical microscope has also shown very stable fringe patterns

Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions (InSPACE):    Planned.

Renal Stone (RS):   The crew’s last in-flight data collection session will occur in early April.  Thanks to the crew for their continued support with taking their daily pills at dinner time.

Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SHERES):   Pre-Increment requirements have been completed.  A second BBT (Beacon & Beacon Tester) session will be scheduled in US Lab.

Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight (FOOT):   Downlink of data from Mike’s second Foot session is planned for next week.

Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE):  In progress. Deployed outside. Nominal and collecting data.

Cellular Biotechnology Support Systems-Fluid Dynamics Investigation (CBOSS-FDI):   Looking forward to the next set of FDI Tissue Culture runs.

Yeast Group Activation Packs (Yeast GAP):   Mike was thanked for successful Yeast GAP Activation and for “all the beautiful photos and video”.

Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM):  Nothing new. 

Earth Science Toward Exploration Research (ESTER):  Looking forward to the upcoming sessions.

Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2):  Planned.

Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA):   Mike was thanked for the GCF transfer this past weekend. CGBA continues to run nominally at 20C.

Miscible Fluids in Microgravity (MFMG):    Nothing new.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO):  The education demonstrations continue to be excellent.  The video will be used in a variety of ways.  The ground is looking forward to upcoming activities.

Crew Earth Observations (CEO):   One of ISS/CEO’s fine 400mm lens views of El Paso/Ciudad Juarez is being published on Earth Observatory this weekend as representing the 100,000th image of the Earth taken from the ISS.  Astronaut photography from Station comprises nearly a fifth of all such imagery collected to date.  Review highlights of CEO imagery this week include:  the first 800mm views ever identified of Mt. Kilimanjaro;  an excellent 800mm view of the intended science target, Jarvis Island; good efforts at Patagonian glacier and Libyan impact crater targets; and a handsome panoramic series of the north side of the Himalyas.  The quality of focus in long lens views from the crew’s recent imagery is much improved, but is not yet consistent.  No further problems with camera times have been noted.

Today’s optional CEO targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, except for the shutter closure and condensation-prevention plan (limited to 90 min. in 24 hours), were Inland deltas, SW Sudan (nadir pass over this interesting geological zone where rivers drain off the Ethiopian highlands:  views  of river patterns at the foot of the mountains were requested where vast amounts of sediment are being deposited.  These rivers flow towards the Nile), Tashkent, Uzbekistan (nadir pass over this fast growing central Asian city on the ancient Silk Road near the best passes into East Asia), Chad dust event (Dynamic event.  This major dust event now affects a region from Chad across West Africa all the way to the central Atlantic Ocean, the largest event this season.  Strong dust plumes are most visible between Lake Chad and the Tibesti Mountains, left and right of track), Plankton blooms, Canary Islands (Dynamic event.  Looking right of track towards the Canary Islands and the African coast for a major bloom, especially on the south [downwind] side of the Canary chain), Navassa Island, Caribbean (nadir pass over this small island.  Images requested for coral reef mapping), Bahamas (pass over the eastern end of the Bahamas chain.  Detailed near-vertical images requested of keys and the shallow sea floor), Tuamotu-Austral Islands (400mm-lens.  Looking near nadir and left for detailed images of coral-fringed atolls), Tuamotu Archipelago (400mm-lens.  Looking near nadir for detailed images of coral-fringed atolls), American Samoa (this small target is seldom intersected.  Nadir views of coral reefs requested), and Ice floes, James Bay, Ontario (Dynamic event. Documentation of the onset of surface ice development was requested: looking at nadir and left).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this noon,1:21pm EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 367.8 km
  • Apogee — 372.8 km
  • Perigee — 362.8 km
  • Period — 91.9 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0007417
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.67
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 90 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 29785

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

SpaceRef staff editor.