Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 10 Aug 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
August 10, 2002
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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.

The crew enjoyed an almost-off-duty weekend day, with some scheduled tasks and a few task listed items in the “job jar”.

As every Saturday, a thorough housecleaning of their home kept the station residents busy, today for about two hours.

CDR Valery Korzun and FE-1 Peggy Whitson completed the Russian pre-EVA health monitoring test MO-5, which studies the crewmember’s cardiovascular status under specific exercise loads using graded exercises on the Russian cycle ergometer (VB-3), both taking turns in being the subject or the assistant. [After installation of the VELO cycle ergometer into working position, the subject is wired up extensively. A biomedical harness around the chest, connected to the medical examination panel on the VELO, holds electrodes pressed to the skin for ECG (electrocardiogram) readings, using the Gamma-1 ECG equipment. A blood pressure cuff is secured on the left arm, wired to the blood pressure panel, and electrode bands of the rheoplethysmograph (to measure blood flow/amount) around both upper arms are connected to the rheoplethysmography panel. The graded exercises involve several blood-pressure-controlled periods at workloads of 125 W, 150 W and 175 W, respectively, All measurements were recorded and telemetered to MCC-M, from where the workout was controlled.]

Thanks to Peggy Whitson’s generous offer to work additional experiment time, the SUBSA payload (solidification using a baffle in sealed ampoules) today processed another sample (SUBSA-07), after she activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox). With good Ku-band coverage, the ground was able to view more of the solidification process than in the past. [This sample contains a liquid encapsulant (LiCl-KCl) which, near room temperature, appears as a milky white film around the semiconductor sample. When it melts, it becomes clear. Liquid encapsulants are often used during semiconductor processing on Earth, to form a thin film around the semiconductor as the semiconductor grows. This helps to prevent sticking between the sample and container and results in fewer defects in the grown material. One of the objectives of today‚s experiment was to see how well the encapsulant works in microgravity.]

FE-2 Sergei Treschev terminated the regeneration cycle of absorption bed #2 of the BMP micropurification system and switched it to Purify mode. Both BMP channels are now again running in this mode.

Daily routine servicing tasks were completed by Treschev (SOSh life support system maintenance), Whitson (weekend payload hardware status checkout in the Lab), and Korzun (inspection of the BRPK-2 water condensate separator).

Detailed instruction for troubleshooting the Airlock BCAs (battery charger assemblies, BC3 and BC4) were uplinked for FE-1 Whitson. [As evidenced by a bad US spacesuit backpack (EMU) battery during UF-2 (which provided only a 5hr EVA), the suit batteries must be discharged to 16 Volts ASAP to keep them healthier. While the BCAs are fully capable of recharging EVA batteries, they have been unable to discharge them when commanded to do so from the associated SSC6 (station support computer #6) laptop due toa communication breakdown between it and the BCAs. A second issue is believed to be “passivation”, an increasing resistance within the EMU batteries due to oxalate crystals building up between cells of the battery over time. The troubleshooting aims at regaining communications between SSC6 and the BCAs and on “burning off” the build-up. Ifeither of the two chargers remains unusable for discharging, the only option is to discharge the batteries by running the EMU fan for several hours (notthe preferred long-term method since it reduces fan lifetime).]

Files with Russian EVA-7 training materials were uplinked, which the crew must transfer to a stand-alone SSC laptop (disconnected from the OpsLAN to avoid impacts on normal network operations). The uplink also included procedural instructions for copying and installing the material, and for a MultiCast reloading of the SSC to reconnect it to the OpsLAN after the training.

Instructions were also uplinked for verifying that PGT (pistol-grip tool) bayonet mountings are properly tightened.

Targets for today’s task-listed Russian Diatomeya ocean observation program were the Pacific Ocean (Kurioso and Kamchatka stream), Indian Ocean (Gulf Stream, waters south of Republic of South Africa) and the Atlantic Ocean (Gof island, Northern Pacific stream).

Science Update (Expedition Five — 9th):

The crew was thanked for the Renal collections, PuFF sessions and especially for volunteering to help SUBSA get caught up over the weekend. Science ops will be on the back burner for a couple of weeks due to EVA preparations. The science pace will pick up again after the EVAs.

Extra-Vehicular Activity Radiation Monitors (EVARM): Next EVARM session is scheduled for 8/30.

GASMAP/Pulmonary Function in Flight (PuFF): The PuFF team thanked the crew for working their schedule around constraints. Because of the lack of Ku coverage, no session data could be seen, but the crew appeared to have things well in hand. The next PuFF session will be after the upcoming EVA (8/16).

Renal (Kidney) Stone Experiment: Past week’s session was successful.

Interactions (NTXN): Another big ‘thank you’ from the Interactions team to the crewmembers for their continued participation.

Human Research Facility/Workstation (HRF WS): n/a

Commercial Refrigerator Incubator Module-Commercial Stelsys (STELSYS): Experiment is complete and samples are stowed in frozen state in ARCTIC-1. “Waiting for a ride home”.

Microencapsulation Electrostatic Processing (MEPS): Thanks to the crew from the MEPS team, which can‚t wait for PCM (processing chamber module) return on 9A.

Advanced Astroculture (ADVASC): Soybean plants are nominal. Next nutrient exchange is scheduled for 8/14.

Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA): SUBSA-04 completed successfully on 8/8. This was the first time for the experiment to melt back into the seed with a sample that did not have a baffle. The experimenters are happy with the results and this sample will be compared to the samples grown without a baffle. Today, the first sample with an encapsulant was processed. The encapsulant appears as a milky white substance around the sample. It helps prevent sticking between the sample and ampoule and this will be the first test of how well it works in microgravity.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI): New payload for Increment 5 will be performed during Stage 9A.

Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS): All systems were nominal until 8/8 when SAMS data became intermittent. The ground is diagnosing the problem. Currently exploring slow migration of quasi-steady vector direction. May have correlation with Solar Beta angle. Also currently exploring a persistent variable-frequency characteristic between 10 and 20 Hz which appears to be correlated with ISS attitude and orbital position.

Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS): Plans are to continue characterization efforts for the quasi-steady acceleration environment. The attitude transition from XPOP to LVLH on 8/9 was monitored and is being analyzed.

Active Rack Isolation System (ARIS) Support: Control of ARIS was changed from the ARIS-ICE POP (payload on-orbit processor) to the EXPRESS RIC (rack interface controller), which is the way ARIS will be operated in the long term. During August, PROs (Payload Rack Officers) are conducting a series of standard ARIS tests to gain experience operating ARIS.

Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES): PCG STES is very stable at 21.75 deg C (± …04).

Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE): In progress. Deployed outside. Nominal and collecting data.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO): Completed.

EarthKAM: Planned. Will be performed during Stage 9A.

Zeolite Crystal Growth (ZCG): Samples are unloaded and stowed. Everything is nominal.

ARCTIC Refrigerator/Freezer 1 (ARCTIC-1): Continued support of Stelsys samples at 21.0 C with no major anomalies.

ARCTIC Refrigerator/Freezer 2 (ARCTIC-2): Continued support of ZCG samples at +5.0 C with no major anomalies.

Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA): Will be performed during Stage 9A.

Crew Earth Observations (CEO): The ground received 181 new images downlinked from ISS this week, including some excellent detailed views of Lake Poopo as well as some more breathtaking three-dimensional views of cumulo-nimbus cloud formations. The ground is delighted by the crew’s daily reports, that show that they were able to use the Science Window in the Lab while ISS was in XPOP attitude. This brings the crew’s total to 2,939 to date.
Today’s CEO targets were Cape Town, South Africa (mapping pass [a series of overlapping shots] of the sprawling greater Cape Town region. The city has expanded across the Cape Flats, from Cape Town eastward to the mountain range fifty km away), Johannesburg, South Africa (mapping pass of the sprawling greater Witwatersrand. As the economic magnet for Africa south of the Equator, this line of cities is experiencing shanty growth along all urban peripheries), Kuwait City, Kuwait (crew was to photograph city margins and remnants of oil burn scars north and south of the city), Lower Amazon River Basin (tropical deltas are often cloud covered and thus poorly documented from space. Time-lapse photography is beginning to reveal significant and unexpected island movement [Amazon water flow erodes upstream margins of islands and deposits sediment on the downstream sides] in this largest estuary on the planet), High Central Andean Glaciers (crew was requested to photograph any ice capped volcanoes or mountain ridges that pass near nadir. Tropical glaciers are waning almost everywhere on the planet), and Lima, Peru (close but panoramic view of the entire metro area: Lima city lies inland of the port of Callao [Lima was founded by the first conquistador in the 1520s]).

CEO images can be viewed at the website

ISS Orbit (as of this afternoon, 3:55 pm EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 395.0 km
  • Apogee — 407.1 km
  • Perigee — 383.0 km
  • Period — 92.4 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0017782
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.57
  • Altitude decrease — 150 m (mean) in last 24 hours
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ‚98) — 21255
  • Current Flight Attitude — LVLH (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, x-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -10 deg, pitch: 7.8 deg, roll: 0 deg]). The next change will be to inhibit thrusters for Progress propellant transfer on 8/12 (Monday).

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

SpaceRef staff editor.