NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 September 2004

Status Report From: NASA HQ/SpaceRef/NASA Watch
Posted: Friday, September 17, 2004

image SpaceRef note: This NASA Headquarters internal status report, as presented here, contains additional, original material produced by (copyright © 2004) to enhance access to related status reports and NASA activities.

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

Update on Elektron:  The Elektron is up and running OK (so far), producing O2 at elevated performance level (31 amps), after a major R&R by the crew.   [Gennady Padalka uninstalled the leaky Liquid Unit #7 (BZh-7) and replace it with the older BZh-5, which had been checked out successfully on 9/8 and recertified for use.  Also swapped out with a new spare today was the nitrogen purge assembly (BPA).  After the procedure, Padalka mated the Elektron's telemetry (TM) connectors to the SM's BITS2-12 onboard TM measurement system to enable ground monitoring.]

FE Fincke tackled the long-awaited job of installing the new flexhose U-jumper, delivered on 13P, at the nadir-pointing science window in the Lab, along with its new protective cover.  The vacuum jumper connects Ports C and D on the window frame.  The interstitial volume "D" between the window's pressure panes was then evacuated to vacuum.  Part of the procedure was a leak check of the frame with the ULD (Ultrasonic Leak Detector) equipment.  The task was completed with detailed closeout photography.   [In support of the depress of the porthole, the window had been preheated overnight to a temperature range of 30-37 deg C for 12 hours, initiated last night by Mike after first checking that the window shutters were closed, then commanding the procedure from PCS (portable computer system) laptop and subsequently monitoring the temperature via telemetry.  For the actual depressurization, the FE used the FSS (fluid system servicer), ISA and VAJ with the Lab VRIV (vent & relief isolation valve) to slowly vent any air and humidity in Volume D overboard.]  

Previous Reports

ISS On-orbit Status [HQ]
ISS Status [JSC]
Shuttle Processing [KSC]

In the morning, the CDR used a compressor for pressurizing the bladders of the two Progress 15P "Rodnik" water tanks, a required leak check before liquid waste (urine) can be transferred from the SM's ASU toilet system to the Progress.

Padalka completed another daily hardware inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") plant growth experiment in the Lada-5 greenhouse.  Topping its water container off as required is an additional step included regularly in the crew-choice task list.

FE/SO Fincke collected the periodic reading of the cabin air's current CO2 partial pressure in the SM and Lab, using the U.S. CDMK (carbon dioxide monitoring kit), for calldown (along with the battery status) for use in trending analyses.  

In addition, Mike completed the routine inspection of the SM's SOZh environment control & life support system, and prepared the regular IMS (inventory management system) delta file for automated export to the ground for database updating and subsequent re-import via OCA.  He also attended to the routine status checkup of the autonomous PCG-STES010 (Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System) payload in the Lab (done every Monday, Wednesday and Friday).  

A planned tag-up by Padalka and Fincke via phone with the Expedition 10 crew at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City was deferred to a later date.   [Leroy Chiao, Salizhan Sharipov and Yuri Shargin have been at GCTC since ~8/30 for final crew training, ending this week with Final Exams.  Next step in their progression toward launch will be travel to Baikonur for fit checks, preflight medical evaluation and review by the Russian Interagency Commission, return to Baikonur for launch preps, clearance by the State Commission (L-6 hrs) and launch (date TBD at 9/22 General Designers Review at RSC-Energia, followed by SORR at JSC on 9/24).]  

At 1:40pm, the crew had their weekly teleconference with the ISS Flight Director at MCC-Houston  

Both crewmembers completed their daily 2.5-hr. aerobic/anaerobic workout program on TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser and VELO cycle with bungee cord load trainer.   Early in the morning (3:38am), Mike conducted a 10-min. ham radio session with students at Aoyama Gakuin Elementary School in Japan.   [Aoyama Gakuin ES dates back more than 70 years and has had its own amateur radio club since 1973.  As of last year, more than 200 members have acquired ham radio licenses through after-school activities.]

At 3:25pm EDT, the crew is scheduled to participate in a live interactive TV event via Ku-band video and S-band audio with attendees of the annual German "Space Day" at the Arena in Cologne, Germany.  [The 20-min. Q&A interchange with attendees will be moderated by ESA astronaut Hans Schlegel and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev (ISS Expedition 1).]

After attitude control handover to the Russian motion control system at 10:45am, the station changed flight attitude from sun-pointing XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) to earth-oriented LVLH (local vertical/local horizontal) at 11:01am.  Control authority then returned to U.S. nonpropulsive CMGs, directly into Momentum Management mode.  

Today MCC-H, by remote commanding, started a two-week operational checkout of the Thermal Radiator Rotary Joints (TRRJs).   [The checkout consists of testing new FDIR (Failure Detection, Isolation & Recovery) delivered with the EXT (external MDM) R4 load of software, verifying functionality of the TRRJ in various modes (Autotrack, Blind, Shutdown, Switchover, etc.) and in general, characterizing TRRJ performance over an extended period.  To date, each of the two TRRJs has only had about 48 hours of runtime, and full TRRJ functionality is required at stage 12A.1 with ETCS (External Thermal Control System) activation.  Due to CMG concerns, only one radiator loop will be operated at a time, starting with the starboard system (Loop A).  Each loop will be run approximately one week.  There is of course no ammonia (NH3) in the radiators at this time, as will be after 12A.1, so any anomalies encountered won't impact any other systems.]  

Both Primary and Backup GNC MDMs (guidance, navigation & control computers) have successfully been transitioned to the R4 version of the GNC software.  The transition was nominal.  GNC-1 MDM is in Primary mode and GNC-2 MDM is Backup.  All GNC MDM procedures impacted by the transition are updated and are ready for the crew to use if needed.  

The IMV (intermodular ventilation) flow measurements taken by Fincke on 9/15 indicated good flow between modules and minimal debris build up in the IMV system.   [The measurements are recommended every 90 days to ensure proper air mixing of constituents across ISS (USOS and RS) such as O2 and CO2, as well as contaminant removal, water collection, and in support of formaldehyde badge placement locations.]  

Moscow and Houston are continuing to evaluate a new launch date for Soyuz 9S, which has slipped by a few days.  Under consideration are 10/11 and 10/13.  The new date will be fixed at the Soyuz 9S GDR (General Designers Review) at RSC-Energia in Moscow on 9/22, followed by the SORR (Stage Operations Readiness Review) for Soyuz 9S Launch/Soyuz 8S Return/Increment 10 at NASA-JSC on 9/24.  

In his discretionary Russian task "job jar", Padalka had another session of the "Uragan" earth-imaging program lined up for today, using the Kodak 760 DSC (digital still camera) with 800mm-lens from SM windows #9, now available again in LVLH attitude.   [Today's task featured imagery of Bombay, India, Luxor and other villages on the straight-line portion of Nile river valley, Hurghada [Al Ghardaqah] on the Red Sea coast (at inlet to Suez Canal), a panorama of the Andes, and Hurricane Ivan in its subsiding stage.]  

Expedition 9 Flight Crew Plans can be found at

Previous NASA ISS On-orbit Status Reports can be found here. Previous NASA Space Station Status Reports can be found here. Previous NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Reports can be found here. A collection of all of these reports and other materials relating to Return to Flight for the Space Shuttle fleet can be found here.

Today's CEO photo targets, limited in the current 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 Internal waves, Vietnam (weather was predicted to be mostly clear over the coast for internal wave photography. The sunglint point was to the left of track and slightly behind the ISS), Mt. Asama, Honshu, Japan (Dynamic Event.  The most active volcano on Honshu is erupting and producing plumes 1-2.5 km high.  Eruptive activity is continuing at the volcano; looking to the left of track for any visible eruption column), and Aerosols, North China Plain (weather is clearing over eastern China and aerosol plumes may be visible.  Looking to the right of track towards the coast for dust or pollution plumes).

CEO images can be viewed at these websites:

See also the website "Space Station Challenge" at:

To view the latest photos taken by the expedition 9 crew visit:

  Major upcoming events:

  • Reboost -- TBD (phase angle correction for 9S)
  • Soyuz 9S launch -- TBD (w/Leroy Chiao, Salizhan Sharipov, Yuri Shargin);
  • Soyuz 9S dock -- TBD;
  • Soyuz 8S undock -- TBD (w/Gennady Padalka, Michael Fincke, Yuri Shargin);
  • Soyuz 8S land -- TBD;
  • Soyuz 9S relocate to FGB nadir port -- 11/18;
  • Progress 15P undock – 11/23;
  • Progress 16P launch -- 11/24;
  • EVA-12 -- 12/28;
  • Progress 16P undock -- 1/29/05;
  • Progress 17P launch -- 1/30/05;
  • EVA-13 -- 2/21/05;
  • Shuttle/LF1 launch -- NET 3/6/05;
  • Shuttle/LF1 undock -- NET 3/16/05.

 U.S. & Russian Segment Status  (as of today, 1:30pm EDT)   Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) and Thermal Control (TCS):

  • Elektron O2 generator is Off.  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On.  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is Off.  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is On.  SM Gas Analyzer has been calibrated and is used for ppO2 & ppCO2 monitoring.  MCA (major constituents analyzer) is Off.  BMP Harmful Impurities unit: absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is Off.  SKV-2 is On (SM panel mods completed 4/8; SKV-2 activation failed 4/20; new replaceable condensate removal line installed on 9/9).  SFOG slot #2 fan suspect (not usable).
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) -- 724; temperature (deg C) -- 26.0; ppO2 (mmHg) -- 148.1; ppCO2 (mmHg) -- 3.7.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) -- 741; temperature (deg C) -- 20.0.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) -- 744; temperature (deg C) -- 21.7.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) -- 740.7; temperature (deg C) -- n/a (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) -- n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) -- n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) -- 742.7; temperature (deg C) -- 24.1; ppO2 (mmHg) -- n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) -- n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) -- 742.9; temperature (deg C) -- 25.7; shell heater temp (deg C) -- n/a, ppO2 (mmHg) -- n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) -- n/a.
  • (n/a = data not available)

  Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in directed position (dual angle/blind mode, non solar-tracking, biased for drag reduction).
  • SM batteries:  Battery #6 is off; all other batteries (7) are on line in "Partial Charge" mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #3 is off line; battery #4 is in "Cycle" mode; all other batteries (4) are on line in "Partial Charge" mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 is in Standby mode; PCU-2 is in Standby mode.

  Command & Data Handling Systems (C&DH)

  • C&C-1 MDM is prime, C&C-2 is backup, and C&C-3 is in standby.
  • GNC-1 MDM (vers.R4) is prime; GNC-2 (vers.R4) is backup.
  • INT-2 is operating; INT-1 is Off.
  • EXT-1 is On (primary), EXT-2 is Off (backup).
  • 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): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.
  • FGB MDM-1 is Off (failed, 11/21/03); MDM-2 is Operational.

  Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 4408 kg (9718 lb) as of 9/8/04;  [SM(552) + FGB(3388) + Progress M(468)].  (Capabilities: SM -- 860 kg; FGB -- 6120 kg).

  Attitude Control Systems (ACS):

  • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed, since 6/6/02; CMG-2's RPC-17 failed 4/21/04; was replaced 6/30/04).
  • State vector source -- RS
  • Attitude source -- RS
  • 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: -7.2 deg, roll: 0 deg]), with CMG/TA (thruster assist) Momentum Management.

  Communications & Tracking Systems (C&T):

  • 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 Lab PDGF/LEE A, operational on redundant string, off on prime.
  • MBS: KA (keep alive) 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 Location NOW

Full Size/Update
Real Time ISS Tracker - More Links

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 5:39am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude -- 359.5 km
  • Apogee height -- 363.1 km
  • Perigee height -- 355.9 km
  • Period -- 91.73 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0005339
  • Solar Beta Angle -- 32.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.70
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours -- 130 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98)  -- 33280

ISS Altitude History

Apogee height -- Mean Altitude -- Perigee height

ISS Altitude History

For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see In addition, information on International Space Station sighting opportunities can be found at on NASA's Human Spaceflight website. The current location of the International Space Station can be found at at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Additional satellite tracking resources can be found at

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