Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 Mar 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
March 7, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 Mar 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Second weekend rest day for CDR/SO Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri.   Ahead: Week 20 of Increment 8.   

Sasha Kaleri performed the regular SOZh life support systems maintenance, with the usual Sunday tasks of collecting the weekly counter readings of the SM’s toilet flush system (with inspection of the SP urine collection & pretreat assembly) and SVO water supply status, both for calldown to TsUP/Moscow.

The FE also continued troubleshooting the Elektron O2 generator.   [His task today was to conduct a leak check on the previously installed BVP water feed unit, activate the BP pump unit, take some measurements inside the BZh Liquid Unit and check on gas removal from the BZh’s liquid loop.]

Mike Foale had his weekly PFC (private family conference) today, via Ku- and S-band.

Both crewmembers worked out on TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser and VELO cycle with load trainer.

Station attitude continues to be solar-oriented XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane), to be maintained until 3/28.

Today’s optional CEO (Crew Earth Observations) targets, limited in XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the science window, which is available for only ~1/4 of each orbit when not facing forward (in “ram”), were Impact craters, Libya (good pass with lower sun angles to reveal these subtle features.  These ancient impacts have been re-exposed by erosion in the modern Saharan landscape.  Looking right as ISS passed along the length of the site), Omo River delta, Ethiopia (looking left for this delta that occupies the whole north end of Lake Turkana.  During the last El Nino event, the Omo River flowed strongly, raising the lake level and drowning about half the area of its delta.  Documentation of the present delta area in this very remote lake is requested), Nairobi, Kenya (looking right for this capital city.  An oblique view of the ice-capped equatorial mountain of Mt. Kilimanjaro is also requested [looking right just after Nairobi]), Cyclone Gafilo, Madagascar (Dynamic event.  ISS passed over the storm as it moves onshore), Saharan dust (Dynamic event.  Two opportunities/passes.  Possibility of documenting Saharan dust in the central Atlantic, in support of the NOAA ocean science cruise.  Possibility of images of desert dust margin over the central Atlantic Ocean, close to the present position of the Ronald H. Brown research ship on the eighth day of its Trans-Atlantic voyage), Bahamas (pass over the eastern end of the island chain: nadir views of coral reefs are requested), Internal waves, Patagonia (looking nadir and left for internal waves along the continental shelf), and S Georgia Islands, S Atlantic (Dynamic event.  Two opportunities/passes.  The opportunity returns to document the positions of the three major icebergs, two N and one S of the big island in the South Georgia chain.  The southern iceberg showed a large, unusual pond of water on its surface and will appear soon on NASA’s Earth Observatory website.  Looking right for the islands, and half right for the icebergs, which will have drifted downwind of the main island).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 6:53am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 368.8 km
  • Apogee — 376.2km
  • Perigee — 361.4 km
  • Period — 91.92 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.629 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.001101
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.66
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 75 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 30236

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

SpaceRef staff editor.