Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 Jan 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
January 8, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 Jan 2004

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

After wake-up, morning hygiene and breakfast, the crew worked in the Soyuz TMA-3, dismantling the Kurs-A rendezvous and approach radar system of the motion control and navigation system (SUDN) and removing it from the orbital module, a three-hour job. These valuable components will be returned to Earth for “recycling”. [KURS-A is the active half of the Russian space program’s proven S-band radar system for automated flight, which measures relative motion parameters between Soyuz (or Progress) and the ISS during rendezvous operations, to enable the autopilot’s calculation of corrective impulses. There are two sets of KURS-A electronics (for redundancy) housed in a common container in the OM, which will be jettisoned before reentry of the Descent Module. The passive transponder counterpart (KURS-P) of the system is on the Service Module (SM), with one antenna each at the tip of the two solar array wings.]

Troubleshooting continues on the Elektron oxygen generator that currently is in “failed” condition. New instructions were uplinked to Flight Engineer Kaleri, according to which Sasha today looked for air bubbles in the KOV thermal loops’ EDV purified water container, then pressurized the suspected BZh Liquid Unit of the air/liquid separator system and activated the system for checking out the pump sensor display on the control panel for main and backup pump operation. [More work, in the interior of the BZh, is scheduled for tomorrow. The other Elektron component under investigation besides the Liquid Unit is the controlling Signal and Command Matching Unit (BSSK) between the Elektron and the station’s BITS 2-12 Onboard Measurement System.]

CDR/SO Michael Foale resumed payload activities on the PFMI (Pore Formation & Mobility Investigation) in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox). [After removing and stowing sample PFMI-01 from the thermal chamber and resetting its control, Mike installed sample PFMI-15 for the g-LIMIT (Glovebox Integrated Microgravity Isolation Technology) bypass session and activated its reprocessing run.]

Kaleri terminated the current measurement session with the Molniya-SM/LSO equipment, running on SMJ window #3 since 1/4, and deactivated its hardware, powering off the EGE-1 laptop. [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 Haigner ‘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 CDR spent time in the U.S. segment (USOS) with the regular periodic inspection of smoke detectors in the Lab module, Airlock (A/L) and Node “Unity”, as well as of the A/L’s and Lab’s microbial filter. Mike also changed out the Node’s four bacteria charcoal filters.

Sasha meanwhile conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SOZh life support system and prepared the prepared the IMS inventory “delta” file.

At 10:15am EST, the crew configured the television hardware for an interactive TV interview starting at 10:35am with freelance writer Jill Tolk who has recently been writing about human spaceflight and the Astronaut Office.

Kaleri and Foale burned two more SFOG (solid-fuel oxygen generator) candles today, one at 6:15am, the other at 9:40am. This brings the number of candles that have so far been used since 12/31 to 16 (2 units/day). [Of the remaining 126 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, both of which have reached the end of their original certified life, but all evaluations and reviews necessary for continued use of the TGKs are complete.]

The station reboost by Progress 12 P is scheduled to begin at ~3:00pm with a 5-min burn to produce 1.4 m/sec delta-V. In support of the maneuver, BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B of the U.S. P6 photovoltaic arrays were moded to Autotrack at 12:30pm. Later, at 2:45pm, the Russian solar arrays at the SM and FGB will be feathered, and at 2:53pm the ground will activate, by remote control, the U.S. SDMS (structural dynamic measurement system) sensors for collecting vibration data during the reboost.

Subsequently, at 5:07pm, Russian MCS (motion control system) thrusters will maneuver the ISS from the current earth-oriented LVLH (local vertical/local horizontal) attitude to sun-pointing XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane). Return of command authority to USOS follows at 5:30pm. [As for previous recent attitude changes, the maneuvering is designed with gimbal rates that “go easy” on the U.S. CMG (control moment gyro) bearings.]

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 Libyan craters (low sun illumination is ideal for documentation of this newly discovered, but low topographic features. Suggested were general views of the entire region to allow future refinement of image acquisition [low sun angles may necessitate aperture modification]. Looking at nadir and right of track), SW Sudan inland deltas(general views are needed of this previously unstudied basin, west of the Nilelooking right of track from nadir to about 5 degrees off track. A series of very large fan-shaped features stretch west hundreds of km to the Chad border. This landscape is likely a new analog for known oil-rich rocks buried far beneath the surface. These landscapes are generating scientific interest since the size and number of inland deltas have been unappreciated by geologists),Nairobi, Kenya(looking right of track), andMt. Cameroon(PRIORITY (400mm-lens). Dynamic event. Mt Cameroon is seldom seen: a break in cloud cover is predicted for a view immediately right of nadir. New lava flows are of specific interest. Known as the “Throne of Thunder”, this active volcano lies on a major rift zone that bisects the angle in Africa’s coastline at the Cameroon-Nigeria border. The rift extends into the Atlantic Ocean as a line of volcanic islands.

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 2:35pm 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) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 26.4; ppO2 (mmHg) — 146.9; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.8;
  • SM Transfer Compartment: Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 741; temperature (deg C) — 19.5.
  • FGB Cabin: Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 744; temperature (deg C) — 23.7.
  • Node: Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 727.44; temperature (deg C) — 23.1 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab: Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 727.44; temperature (deg C) — 25.0; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock): Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 727.65; temperature (deg C) — 22.4; shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.8, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 23.7
  • PMA-2: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 21.9.

(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).
  • SM batteries: Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is still disconnected in slot #8 for troubleshooting; battery #2 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • FGB batteries: Battery #4 is off (capacity restoration mode, ROM); battery #53 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: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, 6:59am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 368.9 km
  • Apogee — 373.3 km
  • Perigee — 364.4 km
  • Period — 91.9 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006559
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.66
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 95
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 29311

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

SpaceRef staff editor.