NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 September 2004

Status Report From: NASA HQ/SpaceRef/NASA Watch
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 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 O2 generator is off.  Troubleshooting continues.   [When activated this morning after its overnight safety hiatus, the system shut itself down after 7 min due to overpressure in the O2 line.  Analysis is underway on the ground.  Also, specialists are considering the possibility that the uninstalled Liquid Unit 7 (BZh-7) could be reinstated as an operational spare if it turns out that the KOH electrolyte leakage into the H2 line was due to an incorrect timing setting in the software algorithm controlling the filling of the overflow or buffer tank (BE) and overall O2 production.  This could have pushed the KOH into the line during the regular nitrogen (N2) purging.]  

Update on Soyuz 9S launch:  At today's GDR (General Designers Review) at RSC-Energia the launch date of 9S was confirmed as 10/11.  It was also decided to plan for a station reboost tomorrow morning (8:05am EDT) to protect for Soyuz landing requirements.  New Soyuz event dates/times, see below.   [The ~2.7 m/s reboost burn would last approximately 10 minutes.]  

The crew has completed the 6-months maintenance/inspection of the TVIS treadmill and its chassis.  After installing four new isolator restoration bungees, one on each corner, Mike Fincke successfully performed the scheduled AOC (activation & checkout) session.  This puts the treadmill back into operation for use by the crew for their daily physical exercise.   [During yesterday's IFM, Mike reported his concern about five (of eight) isolator cage brace wire ropes in the chassis being slacker than originally intended.  A ground investigation determined that the original structural analysis was performed for extreme conditions (e.g., kick loads) and not for nominal impact loads during crew exercise sessions.  The TVIS was therefore cleared for nominal operation upon successful completion of the ACO, while the ground will assess the issue of the slack ropes and any required further actions.]  

Padalka and Fincke conducted another session with the European Neurocog experiment (still on board from Pedro Duque's VC5 Cervantes program last October).  For both crewmembers, today's activities again dealt with virtual rotation in free floating and fixed position passages while recording EEG (electroencephalogram).  The exercise was videotaped, like the previous ones.  [Assisted each other during the activities, Padalka first activated the EGE-2 computer, then equipped himself with the Halley head electrodes, followed later by Fincke.  After doing the virtual turns passages in fixed state (subject strapped down) and free-floating in zero-G called for by the Neurocog protocol, they downloaded the EEG data to a PCMCIA memory card for subsequent return to Earth, and dismantled the equipment.]

Gennady Padalka set up the TV equipment and supported the downlinking of video taken of the Russian segment (RS) air ducts, preparatory to their upcoming replacement with more noise-dampening ducts.   [The playback was from the DVCAM PD-1P camcorder, controlled by the SPP (automated time sequencer).]  

The CDR started another operations and measurement session with the Molniya-SM/LSO hardware from SM window #3, with the French-provided EGE-1 laptop running an updated NORAD orbital parameters TLE (two-line elements), after completing the previous measurement initiated at 9/18.  The new start time was set for today (9/22), the new completion time for 9/26.  

Padalka also conducted the periodic inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment which researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-5 greenhouse.

Mike did the routine maintenance of the SM's SOZh environment control & life support system, today including the weekly inspection of the BRPK air/liquid condensate separator apparatus.  In addition, he completed 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), while Gennady prepared the regular IMS (inventory management system) delta file for export/import to the IMS databases.  

At 10:50am EDT, the crew conducted a live educational PAO TV exchange with students and educators from Sewickley Academy (Mike Fincke's school) and members of the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.  A list of questions for the crew was uplinked beforehand.  

Later today (3:50pm), the crew is scheduled for their fifth inflight debriefing, this time on C&W (Caution & Warning) systems.   [The debriefs are conducted via privatized conference comm.  Questions covered in on-orbit debriefs will not be readdressed after the crew returns.  After questions are uplinked, the crew has at least 48 hrs to review them before the scheduled debrief.]

Previous Reports

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

Working off his discretionary task list, Padalka conducted another session of the Uragan earth-imaging program, 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 convergence imagery of any of 8000-m peaks directly on track, mountains at the Caspian Sea, oil slicks on the Caspian in sunglint perspective, and the Amazon River with its tributaries.]  

Mike Fincke's choice for the next "Saturday Science" program (9/25) will be another EPO (Educational Program Operation) microgravity demonstration, this time of two puzzles.   ["Crazy Maze" (four balls to be nudged into four chambers) and "Bits & Pieces" (a nail to be steered into a washer)].  

MCC-H is currently conducting reconditioning operations on the P6 power system's batteries.  The reconditioning of BCDU-2 (battery charge/discharge unit 2) of channel 4B will begin on 9/25.  It will take about one week to complete and will not require any crew actions.  During this time, the 4B power channel will be supported in Earth's shadow (eclipse) by the other two BCDUs.   [Normally limited to 12.2 kW, 4B will be reduced to 9.5 kW with only two BCDUs.  A number of reconfigurations will redistribute loads and provide for better recovery capability for certain power failures.  For example, the ITCS (internal thermal control system) was already moded from single LT (low temperature loop) to single MT (moderate temperature loop).]  

Yesterday, the TDRS-5 (Tracking & Data Relay Satellite #5) connection temporarily dropped out due to a command encoder problem at the White Sands Complex (WSC) ground terminal.   [The result was complete loss of all S- and Ku-band services for the ISS for 25 minutes.  The outage also delayed the scheduling of yesterday's Russian PAO event, which was switched to another TDRS.]  

Also yesterday, part 3 of the TRRJ (Thermal Radiator Rotary Joint) test was completed in part.  Everything went very well, and the test is being completed today with the Blind Mode PPL (pre-positioned load) test and Part 4, testing the Loop A TRRJ switchover FDIR (failure detection, isolation & recovery) system.  

The extended testing of the Russian ASN-M satellite navigation system, which will run through 9/25 and requires daily telemetry monitoring, is continuing, controlled by the SM's automated timeline sequencer (SPP).   [When functioning, the ASN will use GLONASS satellites (the Russian GPS equivalent) to update the state vector (SV, position & velocity data) without using the ground (which up to now has to uplink daily SV updates) or requiring SV transfers from the U.S. segment (USOS) from time to time.]

Today's CEO photo targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by restrictions on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Urumqi, China (clear weather over northern China provided an opportunity for high resolution photography of this "oil city".  Mapping of the urban core and urban-rural fringe is useful for spatial structure analysis and land cover classification), Sao Paulo, Brazil (this pass occurred during a clear-weather window over this megacity.  High-resolution mapping of the urban-rural fringe is of particular importance for ecological studies), Hurricane Karl, Central Atlantic Ocean (Dynamic Event.  Karl is a well-formed Category 3 storm and is predicted to follow a northwards track.  Looking to the right of track for the eye and cloud banding), and Internal waves, Tuamotu Archipelago (ISS passed over the eastern archipelago at roughly solar noon.  Conditions were ideal for capture of internal waves, the sunglint point being almost directly below the station).

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:

Current Soyuz 9S (Expedition 10 + 1) flight plan (Leroy Chiao, Salizhan Sharipov, Yuri Shargin):

  • Launch -- 10/11, 12:17am ET (Moscow: 8:17am; Baikonur: 10:17am)
  • Docking @ DC1 -- 10/13, 2:05am ET (Moscow: 10:05am)
  • Hatch Opening (docking + 2 orbits) -- 10/13, 5:05am EDT (Moscow: 1:05pm).

Current 8S (Expedition 9 + 1) flight plan (Gennady Padalka, Michael Fincke, Yuri Shargin):

  • Hatch Closing -- 10/19, 3:15pm ET (Moscow: 11:15pm; Kustanai: 10/20, 1:15am)
  • Undocking from FGB -- 10/19, 6:20pm ET (Moscow: 10/20, 2:20am; Kustanai: 10/20, 4:20am)
  • Deorbit Burn -- 10/19, 8:52pm ET (Moscow: 10/20, 4:52am; Kustanai: 10/20, 6:52am)
  • Landing -- 10/19, 9:45pm ET (Moscow: 10/20, 5:45am; Kustanai: 10/20, 7:45am.

Other upcoming events:

  • 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.

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.

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 On.  SKV-2 is Off (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) -- 739; temperature (deg C) -- 24.9; ppO2 (mmHg) -- 149.8; ppCO2 (mmHg) -- 2.9.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) -- 741; temperature (deg C) -- 19.5.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) -- 744; temperature (deg C) -- 20.7.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) -- 739.4; temperature (deg C) -- 22.7 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) -- n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) -- n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) -- 741.6; temperature (deg C) -- 23.2; ppO2 (mmHg) -- n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) -- n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) -- 741.7; temperature (deg C) -- 22.7; 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:  All batteries (8) are on line in "Partial Charge" mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #3 is off line; all other batteries (5) 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: 4158 kg (9167 lb) as of 9/16/04;  [SM(552) + FGB(3326) + Progress M(280)].  (Capabilities: SM -- 860 kg; FGB -- 6120 kg).

  Attitude Control Systems (ACS):

  • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed, since 6/6/02; CMG-2s 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, 6:23am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude -- 358.9 km
  • Apogee height -- 362.6 km
  • Perigee height -- 355.2 km
  • Period -- 91.72 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0005479
  • Solar Beta Angle -- 8.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.70
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours -- 105 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98)  -- 33359


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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