Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 11 Mar 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
March 11, 2002
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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below. First workday of Week #13.

After regular wakeup (1:00 am EST), and before breakfast, each crewmember completed the periodic Russian medical experiment protocols of calf volume measurement (PZEh-MO-7), body mass measurement (PZEh-MO-8), and biochemical urine analysis (PZEh-MO-9). [The calf measurement device (ISOG) is a custom-sewn fabric “cuff” that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot (left only) as fixed reference points. Eight measuring strips are sewn on at various levels to measure calf circumference and estimate derived volume, to get an approximate estimate of muscle mass loss of two of the more prominent postural muscles, the gastrocnemius and soleus, over time. This provides a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. The body mass measurement device (IM) operates by measuring 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 crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed. The urine analyzer “Urilux” is a German-built clinical device, which uses a urinary dipstick to measure specific gravity, nitrates, protein, glucose, ketones, urobilinogen, bilirubin, and red and white blood cell counts.]

The crew completed the Expedition 4 medical operations contingency drill, a 1-hour U.S. training exercise designed to refresh crewmembers? acuity in applying ACLS (advanced cardio life support) in an emergency. [Deploying (without actually operating/manipulating) onboard equipment such as the RSP (respiratory support pack), CMRS (crew medical restraint system), ALSP (advanced life support pack) and defibrillator stowed in the Lab CHeCS (crew health care systems) rack, the space dwellers went step-by-step through the ACLS manual. Among else, each crewmember performed CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) on a jerry-rigged “human chest” dummy. Objectives of the exercise include practicing communication and coordination necessary to perform medical emergency procedures, locating appropriate emergency medical components, and determining each crewmember’s individual method of CPR delivery in zero-G. ]

Time has come again for another round of Hoffman-Reflex experiments, performed last time in early January. FE-1 Carl Walz and FE-2 Dan Bursch today took onboard H-R training, reviewing the necessary operations through a 45-minute CBT (computer based training) course. [The Canadian Hoffman Reflex (H-Reflex) neurological experiment studies how the body adapts to the microgravity environment over the long term by periodically measuring the spinal cord’s ability to respond to a mild stimulus to a leg muscle, similar to a doctor tapping a patient’s knee to produce the proverbial “knee jerk” reflex.]

CDR Yuri Onufrienko removed and replaced dust collector filters FS1 and FS2 in the FGB’s environment control system. He also renewed CO2 filters in the Vozdukh gas analyzer system.

Bursch changed out the frayed cables in the RED (resistive exercise device). Before RED could be used again in its primary mode with pulleys and Flexpack canisters, the device needed to be recalibrated, and Bursch completed that activity too (originally scheduled for 3/13).

Onufrienko and Walz had several hours set aside for IMS-supported stowage operations in the Progress M1-256 (6P), preparing the cargo vehicle and its “Kolibri” payload for the upcoming undocking event (planned for next week Tuesday, 3/19). Prior to that, tomorrow (3/12 EST) another two-burn reboost with the Progress thrusters is scheduled: the first burn (#5) at 7:06 pm, the second (#6) half an orbit later at 7:53 pm). Total delta-V: 6.0 m/s.

The crew performed the daily routine tasks of IMS delta file preparation, UF-1 payload status checks and TEPC (tissue equivalent proportional counter) power-cycling.

Onufrienko was scheduled for functional check-out of the GTS (Global Timing System) payload after reconfiguring GTS connectors on the SM console system power panel (PPS URM), followed by a tagup with ground specialists (via S-band), for subsequent operation of the experimental system (which requires the current LVLH attitude). [The GTS is a very precise clock with a system that allows worldwide synchronization of Earth-based timepieces by radio. Due to the relatively low orbital altitude of the ISS and today’s miniaturization of receivers, even wristwatches could receive the signal. Clock time is then automatically synchronized by signals from the ISS at the particular local time standard. In the long-run, GTS should make it possible to send near-instantaneous instructions to microchips anywhere on the planet, for personal beepers, switching off engines of stolen cars or even stolen credit cards, etc. However, such a fully functional GTS would need dedicated satellites for instant global coverage, and the ISS experiment, funded almost entirely by industry, is only an initial demonstration of the concept.]

All crewmembers performed their daily physical exercise.

The crew was advised of MCC-Houston’s desire to have a photographic survey performed of the 2B and 4B solar arrays for analysis. Images taken over the past several assembly missions appear to show potential damage to the Channel 4B (i.e. Port) solar array, specifically deformation and possibly tearing of the FCC (flat circuit connector) at a location nearly one third from the outboard edge of the array. Given the resolution on the currently available photographs, the ground cannot confirm that the FCC is actually damaged and if the damage will prohibit array retraction. For the desired higher-resolution photographs with the DCS 760 camera, the ISS should be in LVLH attitude, at solar Beta angles lower than 37 degrees, as is the case at present.

CEO target areas today were Hyderabad, India (nadir pass with good lighting and weather to photograph this mega city in India’s Deccan Plateau. City may be difficult to spot, but is located roughly 150 miles inland and WNW of the prominent delta of the Krishna River on the Bay of Bengal), Somalia Coast (this track was well to the S of most of this target area, so crew was advised to try for slightly oblique views looking to the left of track to detect extent of high vegetation contrast along the coast), Upper Amazon Basin (remarkably clear, dry conditions have persisted over northwestern Brazil, southern Columbia, and northeastern Peru. Of interest: taking advantage of this opportunity to map the complex and dynamic river patterns in this usually cloudy region), and Parana River (crew was to map the upper valley of the Parana this pass, especially the reservoir levels in the dissected plateau of southern Brazil).

Shuttle Columbia/STS-109, after an exceedingly successful mission to service and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope, is scheduled to land tomorrow morning at KSC at 4:32 am EST. Second landing opportunity would be at 6:13 am.

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:27 pm EST today):

Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) and Thermal Control (TCS):

  • Elektron O2 generator is On (32 Amps mode). Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is ON in MANUAL cycle mode #5 (vacuum pump failed). U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is in Standby.
  • BMP Harmful Impurities unit: Absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, #2 in Purify mode.
  • SM Working Compartment: Pressure (mmHg) — 760, temperature (deg C) — 26.9, ppO2 (mmHg) — 155.5, ppCO2 (mmHg) — 2.6.
  • SM Transfer Compartment: Pressure (mmHg) — 762, temperature (deg C) — 21.7; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • FGB Cabin: Pressure (mmHg) — 756, temperature (deg C) — 20.7; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Node: Pressure (mmHg) — 752.59, temperature (deg C) — 23.1 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab: Pressure (mmHg) — 754.61, temperature (deg C) — n/a, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a;
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock): Pressure (mmHg) — 754.51, temperature (deg C) — n/a; shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.1, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 23.1.
  • PMA-2: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 18.4.

(Note: Partial pressures ppO2 and ppCO2 in U.S. segment (USOS) not available because MCA [major constituent analyzer] is failed and in Extended Life mode [= a state that preserves mass spectrometer vacuum but produces no pp data]).

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Beta Gimbal Assembly (BGA) 2B in Autotrack mode, BGA 4B in Directed (“parked”) position at 125 degrees.
  • SM batteries: battery #3 is cycling; all other batteries (7) in “partial charge” mode.
  • FGB battery #5 is cycling; all other batteries (5) are in “partial charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 in Standby mode; PCU-2 in Standby mode.

Thermal Control Systems:

  • Air conditioner SKV-1 is Off (Freon leak). SKV-2 is On.

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 back-up.
  • LA-1, LA-2 and LA-3 MDMs are all operating.
  • 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): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.

Communications Systems:

  • S-band is operating nominally.
  • Ku-band is operating nominally.
  • Audio subsystem operating nominally.
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • MCOR (medium-rate communications outage recorder) operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 at PMA-3 clearance position (out of Soyuz emergency escape trajectory zone), with Keep Alive power on both strings.
  • RWS (robotics workstations) are Off.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:52 am EST):

  • Mean altitude — 385.6 km
  • Apogee — 388.6 km
  • Perigee — 382.5 km
  • Period — 92.3 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0004528
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
  • Altitude decrease — 400 m (mean) in last 24 hours
  • Solar Beta Angle: -12.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 18880
  • Current Flight Attitude — LVLH (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed” [yaw: -10 deg, pitch: -7 deg., roll: 0 deg]).

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

SpaceRef staff editor.