Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 Feb 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
February 9, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 Feb 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.   As of this noon, since FGB/Zarya launch the ISS has circled Earth 29800 times, covering a distance of 1.3 billion km (788.8 million miles).   Ahead: Week 16 of Increment 8.

Second weekend rest day for CDR/SO Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri.

Kaleri started the day by terminating the bake-out/regeneration cycle for adsorption bed #1 of the BMP micropurification unit and switching it back to Purify mode.  Later, he initiated regeneration on filter channel 2.  [The regeneration of the air purifier filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

Sasha also 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.

SO Foale worked on the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), tending the PromISS-3 (Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope 3) experiment by removing videotape #5 and installing tape #6.   [The experiment involves a total of 12 tapes for recording the science.  Based on previous PromISS and PromISS-2 operations, the tape exchanges are carefully planned to maximize tape utilization and minimize crew time.  The first six tapes are being exchanged approximately every 36 hours, the next five tapes will be exchanged every 72 hours, and the last tape will capture the remaining 6 days of science.  PromISS-3 software controls the recorder’s start and stop times (time lapse).]

Mike 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.

At 11:55am EST, Mike Foale conducted a ham radio session with participants at a cold weather-training site in Canada.

At dinnertime, as every day, the crew supported the Renal Stone prevention experiment by taking the test medication (either potassium citrate or placebo tablets) until the next sample collection phase in early April this year.

The removal and replacement (R&R) of the Vozdukh’s noisy MR5-15G blower fan is scheduled for tomorrow (2/9).  [The crew heard the loud noise from the Vozdukh CO2 scrubber first on 2/2.  The source was identified as the MR5 “microcompressor”, which Kaleri will replace tomorrow with the onboard spare.]

The proficiency training session with the MSS (mobile servicing system), preparatory to the use of the SSRMS/Canadarm2 for the EVA-9, is planned for Tuesday (2/10).

The planned work on the Lab science window to return the “Volume D” space between its two pressure panes to vacuum is scheduled for Wednesday (2/11), along with the installation of the new 13P-delivered flexhose jumper.   [The QD (quick disconnect) tightening will be done tomorrow.]  

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 Kabul, Afghanistan (nadir pass over this city that lies in the center of the widest valley in the region), L. Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (status of water levels in L Nasser and the new desert lakes has not been documented in ISS/CEO imagery for some months.  The migration of people to the new agricultural settlements around the desert lakes has begun.  Twenty million people are expected to migrate to the new desert lakes, despite the fact that the present Nile flow volumes are expected to start declining for several years), Bogota, Colombia (dry-season opportunity to image this city.  Looking slightly right), Internal waves, Central America (sunglint images of internal waves are being collected for a world atlas.  Internal waves have been detected off southern Mexico and Central America where there are no known causative shallow seafloor features.  Images looking right towards the sunglint point are needed to investigate this enigmatic region [the connection of internal waves to bathymetry is generally understood in other parts of the world]), Internal waves, Florida (images looking east towards the glint point are requested to document internal waves at this time when tidal pulses are strong), Tuamotu Archipelago (shooting near-nadir atolls for their coral reef detail), Los Angeles, California (pass just north of the city.  It may be possible to fit the whole urban region into one or two images), Las Vegas, Nevada (nadir pass over this urban region which is one of the fastest growing in the US), and Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Dynamic event.  Bleaching of the reef is beginning, probably due sea temperature warming to threshold levels.  Images of the reef at this critical time are requested to promote public awareness and to reveal any associated controls of bleaching [such as river sediment and city effluent]).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this noon,12:18pm EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 367.7 km
  • Apogee — 372.7 km
  • Perigee — 362.7 km
  • Period — 91.9 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0007423
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.67
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 80 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 29800

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

SpaceRef staff editor.