NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 December 2004

Status Report From: NASA HQ/SpaceRef/NASA Watch
Posted: Monday, December 20, 2004


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. Underway: Week 9 of Increment 10. Today 27 years ago (1977) the Salyut-6 crew of Yuri Romanenko and Georgi Grechko conducted the first "inspect/repair" EVA in history (and the first Russian spacewalk in nearly nine years), to check out the space station's forward docking port after a failed docking attempt by the Soyuz-25 spacecraft.

Before breakfast, both crewmembers completed their first session of the periodic Russian medical experiment protocols PZEh-MO-7 (calf volume measurement) and PZEh-MO-8 (body mass measurement). FE Salizhan Sharipov set up the MO-8 "scales" equipment and later broke it down and stowed it away. [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference points, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless (but not massless), the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmembers mass is calculated by the computer and displayed].

FE Sharipov unstowed and set up the equipment for the "Cardiocog" experiment, then performed his second session of the procedure. [Originally part of Pedro Duque's VC5 "Cervantes" science program, CARDIOCOG-2 (BTC-10), involving new equipment that arrived with Yuri Shargin in October, studies changes in the human cardiovascular system in micro-G, expressed in the peripheral arteries, and the vegetative regulation of arterial blood pressure and heart rate. For the experiment, Salizhan had to take systolic & diastolic blood pressure measurements and pulse data manually, using the Tensoplus sphygmomanometer, storing the data on the French EGE-2 laptop.]

Salizhan used the U.S. DVCAM digital camcorder to take video imagery of the air duct leading into Soyuz TMA-5/9S for ground inspection, with emphasis on showing its length and how its ends are secured in the Soyuz descent module (SA) and FGB pressurized adapter (GA). The footage was downlinked via Ku-band at ~6:40am EST.

Leroy Chiao calibrated the two CSA-CPs (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) #1015/backup and #1016/prime by "rezeroing" their combustible sensors. He then tested the CSA-CPs by conducting the monthly spot check, taking data readings for O2 (oxygen), CO (carbon monoxide), HCN (hydrogen cyanide), and HCl (hydrogen chloride) in SM and Lab, as well as battery ticks for calldown. [Afterwards, the primary unit was returned to its SM Central Post position, while the backup unit #1015, mated to the sampling pump/probe assembly, was moved back to its position in the Node (to prevent a U.S. segment fire from being between the crew and the Soyuz CRV when retrieving the CSA-CP during an emergency).]

Chiao supported the ground-commanded powering-off of the MAMS (Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System) and disconnected power and data cables in preparation for the scheduled cleaning of the MAMS filter, which he completed later in the day with gray tape. Before sleep time, MAMS will be reactivated.

In addition, the CDR cleaned the filter of the PCG-STES010 (Protein Crystal Growth-Single Thermal Enclosure System #10) payload, a monthly activity.

His servicing tasks today also included the periodic cleaning of the magnetic tape heads on both U.S. video tape recorders (VTRs) 1 & 2.

FE Sharipov removed no-longer-needed electronic equipment from the Progress 15P cargo ship, first disconnecting the BITS 2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and turning off its monitoring mode (VD-SU), then removing the US-21 matching unit in its container box. BITS and VD-SU were later reactivated. [The matching unit and associated commutator gear provided the electronic interface between the SM and the Progress for SM computer control of the Progress thrusters. It will be returned to Earth and recycled on a future Progress.]

Preparatory to the Progress 16P docking on 12/25, both crewmembers conducted a test of the TORU teleoperator control system between the SM and the docked Progress 15P. Progress thrusters (DPO) were inhibited (no US-21) and were not involved. The test was performed over RGS (Russian ground sites) on Daily Orbits 11/12. [TORU is the manual mode through which Sharipov can perform necessary guidance functions from the SM in the event of a failure of the "Kurs" automated rendezvous and docking (AR&D) of the Progress. He would control the cargo ship's motions from a control panel, viewing the approach to the ISS via the Klest-M television camera mounted on the Progress. Remote TORU control from the ground is not available.]

Continuing the current round of the periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian segment) ventilation systems, the FE spent ~50 min. in the DC1 docking module to replace the PF1 & PF2 dust collector cartridges and clean the V1 & V2 fans and screens (VD1 & VD2 fans and screens were cleaned last Friday).

At ~11:25am, Leroy and the ADUM (Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Micro-G) ground team held their post-session analysis to discuss the successful ultrasound scans performed last week, particularly Scan B (Abdominal) on Salizhan. [Conducting these scans repeatedly has the purpose of increasing the proficiency of crewmembers. The ground compares the scans to evaluate the crew's learning curves and to see if procedures need to be adjusted. ADUM has to date demonstrated the capability of non-medical personnel to downlink diagnostic information (ultrasound images) for evaluation by medical specialists on the ground.]

The CDR also performed today's routine inspection of the SM's SOZh life support system, while the FE prepared the regular IMS export/import "delta" file for updating the IMS databases.

Leroy worked on the TVIS (treadmill with vibration isolation and stabilization), first performing its monthly inspection and weekly maintenance. [Weekly maintenance generally checks the condition of the SPDs (subject positioning devices) and records time & date. Monthly inspection checks the Russian tie-down harnesses currently in use for any damage.]

Previous Reports

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

Prior to doing the weekly TVIS maintenance, Leroy conducted a 10-min. speed characterization test of the treadmill, collecting data with the TVIS belt running and no crewmember on it.

Later, Chiao also performed the scheduled monthly inspection of the RED (resistive exercise device) with canister cords and accessory straps as well as the canister bolts for re-tightening if required.

Afterwards, the crew performed their daily 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on TVIS, RED exerciser, CEVIS cycle and VELO cycle with bungee cord load trainer. Salizhan's daily protocol currently prescribes a 1.5-hr structured set on the treadmill (today: Day 1 of a new set) and one hour on VELO.

Leroy then transferred the daily TVIS and RED exercise data files to the MEC (medical equipment computer) for downlink, as well as the daily wristband HRM (heart rate monitor) data, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium.

The CDR broke out the "Urolux" equipment, setting it up for the crew's fourth Russian PZE MO-9 biochemical urine test tomorrow. [The MO-9 analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally for the Mir program.]

After removing a yellow tag (for "uncertified hardware") from a newly arrived software CD-ROM, Chiao worked on re-"ghosting" PCS (portable computer system) laptop hard drives with R8.003 "image" software from the CD on an IBM 760XD laptop. [The new software image prepares the PCS machines for the coming step-up of the three C&C (command & control) MDM computers to the new CCS (command & control systems) R4 software, scheduled to start on 1/11/05. In preparation for that, uplinking of the R4 CSCI (computer software configuration items) files to the onboard C&C MSDs (mass storage devices) is underway. In case "cloning" the #6106 hard drive did not work today, Leroy was to mark #6106 as "failed" and use a spare HDD (#6054) instead.]

Progress Cargo Vehicle Procedures

  • Progress Cargo Vehicle Transfer Operations, Part 1, Mission Operations Directorate, 10 August 2000 [English - Acrobat] [Russian - Acrobat]

  • Progress Cargo Vehicle Transfer Operations, Part 2, Appendix 1, Mission Operations Directorate, 10 August 2000 [English - Acrobat] [Russian - Acrobat]

    According to the introduction to these documents "this book is intended for performing cargo transfer operations in Progress and on stowing equipment in SM and Progress." These documents contain diagrams and detailed procedures for the transfer of times from the Progress Vehicle currently docked with the ISS.

  • MCC-Houston yesterday performed the monthly activation of the Lab's VES (vacuum exhaust system) and VRS (vacuum resource system) vent valves, which opened both of them to space. These valves are connected to the various racks in the U.S. Lab. [Pressure in these vacuum lines rises over time due to nominal leakage from the cabin, and they must be periodically vented in order to protect their PGT (Pirani Gauge Transducer) pressure sensors.]

    Update on SIGI (space integrated GPS/inertial navigation system): SIGI-1 is still not initializing after off/on cycling. Next troubleshooting step: completely redo the initialization settings. SIGI-2 continues to perform nominally in SV (state vector, position/velocity/time) updating. New tuning parameters will be uplinked for SIGI-2 to also calculate station attitude if and when another antenna is recovered to complete the necessary set of three.

    Update on food and water: As confirmed by the 12/16 onboard audit, the crew is consuming food per the planned rate. Available supply will last through 1/3/05. Both sides also acknowledge that the available water run-out date is around 1/24-25/05.

    No CEO (crew earth observations) photo targets today.

    CEO photography can be viewed and studied at the websites:

    See also the website "Space Station Challenge" at:

    To view the latest photos taken by the expedition 10 crew visit:

    Expedition 10 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.

    Upcoming Key Events:
    • Progress 15P undocking & destructive reentry -- 12/22 (2:30pm EST).
    • Progress 16P launch -- 12/23 (5:19pm EST);
    • Progress 16P docking -- 12/25 (7:05pm EST);
    • Progress 16P hatch opening -- 12/26 (1:10pm EST);
    • EVA-12 -- 1/25/05;
    • Progress 16P undocking & destructive reentry -- 2/27/05;
    • Progress 17P launch -- 2/28/05.
    • EVA-13 -- 3/25/05;
    • Soyuz 9S undock -- 4/25/05 (after 193 days on orbit, 191 days on board ISS).

    ISS Location NOW

    Full Size/Update
    Real Time ISS Tracker - More Links

    ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:14am EST [= epoch]):
    • Mean altitude -- 354.4 km
    • Apogee height -- 357.3 km
    • Perigee height -- 351.5 km
    • Period -- 91.63 min.
    • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
    • Eccentricity -- 0.0004319
    • Solar Beta Angle -- -18.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
    • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.71
    • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours -- 120 m
    • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 34758

    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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