Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 Jan 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
January 7, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 Jan 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below. Today Russia observes Orthodox Christmas and Sasha Kaleri received a VHF call with Holiday greetings from the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Alexeij II. Rodzhestvom Kristovom!

Update on cabin pressure drop (ref. yesterday’s Status report):

Total cabin pressure and nitrogen partial pressure (ppN2) have stabilized over the past 24 hours, i.e., the rate of decrease has become nearly undetectable. Ongoing investigations include preparation of a fault tree and a detailed events timeline to correlate changes in cabin pressure to other on-orbit activities (e.g. Beta angle, attitude changes, represses, etc.) back to 11/1/03. Cabin pressure yesterday had dropped slightly below the lower Flight Rule limit (14.2 psi). The cabin will be repressurized to just below 14.4 psi before it reaches a pressure of 13.9 psi, with details of how the repressurization will occur being finalized. [Before it stabilized, total pressure had decreased by about 2 mmHg/day (~0.04 psi/day). For the repressurization, N2 from the Airlock HPTs (high-pressure tanks) or Russian APUs (Auxiliary Pressurization Units) could be used, with the former more likely at this time.]

The crew today burned two more SFOG (solid-fuel oxygen generator) candles, one at 6:35am EST, the other at 9:55am. This makes 14 candles that have been used to date since 12/31 (2 units/day). [Of the remaining 128 SFOGs (Russian: TGK), three have failed to ignite in their generators, and a fourth has a damaged seal and is unusable. The onboard TGK supply comes from two batches, and both have reached the end of their original certified life. An extension to the certification life of the units is in work. The three candles that didn’t ignite were from the older batch.]

CDR Foale today completed the regular RED (resistive exercise device) inspection and maintenance, including bolt tightening (done once a month). He also performed the calibration of its Flexpack canister load settings. These tasks had originally been scheduled yesterday. [The calibration is done every 24,330 cycles and after cable replacements.]

FE Kaleri checked out the MedOps cardiac defibrillator, a periodic routine task that is scheduled as soon as possible from Expedition start and every 60 days thereafter. This task was also deferred yesterday. [For the checkout, the defib is connected to the 120V outlet, equipped with its battery, today #1007, and then allowed to charge, for about five seconds, to a preset energy level (e.g., 100 joules). After the button-triggered discharge, a console indicator signals success or failure of the test. The pacing signal was to be downlinked via S-band for 1.5 min.]

The crew completed their first one-hour fire drill/OBT (on-board training), a mandatory periodic requirement specifically rewritten for the current two-person crew. Primary goal of this exercise is to provide the station residents with the most realistic emergency training possible. [OBT objectives are to (a) practice fire response procedures (FRPs) and all incorporated actions for the case of a software-detected fire to locate, extinguish, and verify extinguishing attempts; (b) practice crew communication and coordination between crew and MCCs (Mission Control Centers) necessary to perform emergency FRPs; (c) practice coordination necessary between MCC-H and MCC-M to assist crew in performing emergency FRPs; (d) ensure familiarity with support equipment (CSA-CP {compound specific analyzer/combustion products }, PBAs {portable breathing apparatus} and PFEs {portable fire extinguishers}) used in FRPs; and (e) ensure familiarity with PCS/laptop displays and automatic software responses associated with a fire scenario. The exercise does not actually use any fire equipment but simulates such actions to the maximum extent possible. After the OBT, a post-training summary report is to be prepared.]

Alex Kaleri conducted some more preventive maintenance of Russian segment (RS) ventilation systems, today in the “Pirs” DC-1 docking compartment, cleaning the VD1 and VD2 air ducts (last time done: 11/6/03).

Sasha completed another set of extensive observations for the Diatomeya ocean research program, taking imagery depicting sea blooms features in open water, local cloud structure anomalies, ocean surface dynamics, groups of fishing vessels (multiple ship wakes) in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. [The FE used the Nikon F5 with f/80 mm lens from SM window #8 and the Sony DVCAM-150 digital camcorder, fixed on a bracket above window #7, at specific overflight times uplinked to him overnight.]

The FE cycled Russian laptop batteries for maintenance, with discharge and recharge required to be scheduled six hours apart.

Sasha also conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SOZh life support system and prepared the prepared the IMS inventory “delta” file. Mike attended to the regular status checkup on the autonomous Lab payloads.

CDR/SO Foale began work on the new MFMG (Miscible Fluids in Microgravity) experiment, gathering and preparing materials for the MFMG thermal operations slated for week-after-next. MFMG will not need a containment system. [The CDR configured the MWA WSA (Maintenance Work Area/Work Surface Area) in the Lab, labeled baggies, prepared syringes, then temporarily stowed the equipment.]

The crew set up video equipment and prepared themselves for a non-interactive PAO message, which they downlinked at 1:20pm via Ku- and S-band for taping on the ground. [The video recording was requested by CSA (Canadian Space Agency) for replay a this year’s World Economic Forum at Davos/Switzerland, which for the first time includes the subject of space utilization.]

A reboost burn of the ISS by Progress 12P of ~1.4 m/sec is scheduled for tomorrow at 3:01pm. Maneuver to reboost attitude starts at 1:15pm.

Following the reboost, at 5:11pm station attitude will be maneuvered to XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane).

The crew was thanked for yesterday’s excellent EPO (Educational Payload Operations), demonstrating hygiene ops in space. [Ground to crew: “We will never again take brushing our teeth here on earth for granted! ]

Appreciation was also expressed by POIC for the successful GASMAP (Gas Analyzer System for Metabolic Analysis Physiology) activities, which provided ppN2 data confirming the readings of the MCA (major constituent analyzer) while verifying proper GASMAP function. The run will take the place of next week’s planned 30-day health test.

Today’s 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 some viewing angles, were S Chad swamplands (pass went over the divide between the Chad and Congo river systems. The divide is unusual due to the major swamplands that occupy it. New interest is raising the highly changeable river courses to left and right of track), W Africa fires(Dynamic event. Looking left and right as ISS passed from the vegetationless Sahara to the Sahel tree and grass savannas, now nearing the height of the dry [burn] season),Recife, Brazil (looking a touch left. Recife’s name refers to the city’s situation behind a long, protective coastal reef. Recife is the fourth largest city in Brazil. It is known as the Venice of Brazil for its many canals, bridges, and narrow one-way streets), Havana, Cuba (nadir pass over this coastal city of 2.1 million. A tunnel connects Old Havana to East Havana. The city stretches as far south as the airport, 25 km to the south), Jarvis Island (this 2 mile-long, uninhabited island is surrounded by a coral reef. It is administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system), andTuamotu Archipelago(ISS tracked along the western of two parallel lines of islands. Many of these islands still need to be imaged for the global survey under way).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:52pm EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered Off. Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Manual Mode 3). 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/psi) — 742/14.35; temperature (deg C) — 26.1; ppO2 (mmHg) — 147.0; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 4.7;
  • SM Transfer Compartment: Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 741/14.33; temperature (deg C) — 19.5.
  • FGB Cabin: Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 744/14.24; temperature (deg C) — 22.7.
  • Node: Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 727.35/14.08; temperature (deg C) — 22.6 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab: Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 729.77/14.12; temperature (deg C) — 25.0; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock): Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 729.97/14.12; temperature (deg C) — 22.2; shell heater temp (deg C) — 21.4, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 23.7
  • PMA-2: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 21.6.

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational. BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in fixed (dual-angle) position (non-suntracking).
  • SM batteries: Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is still disconnected in slot #8 for troubleshooting; battery #7 is in “Cycle mode; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • FGB batteries: Battery #4 is off (capacity restoration mode, ROM); battery #3 isd 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:3637 kg (8018 lb) as of 1/1/04 [SM(755) + FGB(2530) + Progress M(352) + Progress M-1(0)]. (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 XVV (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed : z-axis in local vertical, x-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -10 deg, pitch: -9.4 deg, roll: 0 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, 8:42am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 369.0 km
  • Apogee — 373.5 km
  • Perigee — 364.4 km
  • Period — 91.9 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006774
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.66
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 95
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 29296

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

SpaceRef staff editor.