Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 12 Dec 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
December 12, 2002
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ISS On-Orbit Status 12 Dec 2002

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

Crew wake-up this morning was shifted up another hour and is now back at the regular 2:00am EST.  After the standard (mandatory non-work) 90-min. post-sleep and breakfast period, the crew held the regular daily planning conference (via S-band) and prepared for today’s work.

For today’s planned HRF (human research facility) tests, FE-2/SO Don Pettit powered up the GASMAP (gas analyzer system for metabolic analysis physiology), then let it warm up for three hours, before checking the level of helium in the GASMAP.  Any excess He is removed by operating in Standby mode for a long time.

Later in the day, Pettit set up the HRF WS (workstation), including the HRF flat screen display and keyboard, for the subsequent WS functional checkout, which involved nine separate tests.  The activity was finished with closeout ops.

CDR Ken Bowersox’s and FE-1 Nikolai Budarin’s schedules today called for their first medical EVA fitness test, which assesses hand and finger strength with the programmed use of a hand grip force dynamometer and a finger pinch gauge.  [The test, part of joint IMG/CMS (Integrated Medical Group/Crew Health Maintenance), checks the subject’s ability to perform work while wearing spacesuit gloves rigidized by the internal suit pressure.]

Both Bowersox and Pettit performed the psychological MedOps WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool) experiment, a time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, that is routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmember’s or flight surgeon’s request.

Bowersox completed software setup and configuring of the MedOps HRM (heart rate monitor) system, including input of the crewmembers’ relevant personal data.

The crew was asked by MCC-Moscow to clarify some IMS (inventory management system) questions with an audit of Russian on-orbit 35mm film rolls.  [IMS ground specialists are continuously striving to for accurate and up-to-date knowledge of the current state of the entire ISS inventory (the nomenclature of resupply items alone contains more than 1000 entries).  The IMS constitutes the sole integrated source of this type of information.]

The crew completed the regular daily physical exercise on TVIS, RED and CEVIS.  Prior to the exercise, they set up the video equipment to record each crewmember’s exercise sessions on TVIS and RED, taping at least 15 minutes of the workout, plus a minimum of five minutes of harness donning.  [The data are important to ground engineers as they try to characterize how each Expedition exercises on the hardware.  In the past, subtle differences in exercise techniques were noted between the different crews, such as for heel-strikes on the treadmill.]

Daily routine servicing tests were performed by Don Pettit (SOSh life support systems maintenance) and Nikolai Budarin (IMS delta file update for downlink).

Instructions were uplinked to the crew for the upcoming installation of the new HCOR (high rate communications outage recorder) assembly in the Lab’s AV3 (avionics #3) rack.

Today’s targets for the CEO (crew earth observations program) were Angolan Biomass Burning (crew was to look mainly right for late-season fires), Southern Sudan Swamplands (excellent pass over the zone of swamps, poorly mapped and poorly understood, along the western foot of the Ethiopian plateau.  Nadir and near-nadir views both sides of track requested.  A detailed mapping swath for 2 minutes will be a material improvement over the Landsat imagery–allowing the first regional interpretation of the drainage, for a global study in progress), Mt Cameroon, Cameroon (this active equatorial volcano plummets straight into the sea from a crater at 13,435 feet.  Almost always clouded, the crew may have seen it through gaps in the cloud, 4 degrees off track to the right), Mt Etna, Sicily (recently active), Western Amazonia, Colombia (mapping swath left of track requested.  Clearer weather is extending south from Venezuela. Amazonia is seldom clear enough to shoot. [Handheld photography has revealed unexpected river patterns, indicative of climate change, east of the requested swath]), Mexico City, Mexico (nadir pass; ESC [electronic still camera].  Crew was to try to get this megacity in one or two images, for scale comparisons with earlier images, in an ongoing study of city growth), Tucson, Arizona (nadir pass; ESC), Albuquerque, New Mexico (nadir pass; ESC), and Jarvis Island (nadir pass; ESC/800mm lens.  Crew was to shoot detail of the coral reefs for global mapping project).

CEO images can be viewed at the website

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 3:00 am EST today).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On (24 Amp mode).  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is Off.  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is On. TCCS is operational.  BMP Harmful Impurities unit: Absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.

Propulsion System (PS): 

  • Total propellant load available (SM + FGB + Progress) — 3792 kg (8360 lb) [as of 12/5/02].

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  Beta Gimbal Assembly (BGA) 2B and BGA 4B both in dual-angle mode (directed position)..
  • SM batteries:  Battery #2 in “Cycle” mode.  All other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge”: mode.  FGB batteries:  Batteries #4 is off line; battery #5 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (4) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 is in Standby; PCU-2 is in Standby.

Thermal Control Systems:

  • Air conditioner SKV-1 is Off, SKV-2 is Off.

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 Backup (new patches loaded on both).
  • EXT-2 is On (primary), EXT-1 is off.
  • LA-1, LA-2 and LA-3 MDMs are all operating.
  • PL-1 MDM is On (primary); PL-2 MDM is off (diagnostic
  • APS-1 (automated payload switch #1) and APS-2 are both On.
  • SM Terminal Computer (TVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational. Lane 1 is down (as of 11/14).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.

Attitude Source:

  • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed).
  • State vector — U.S. SIGI-1
  • Attitude — U.S. SIGI-1
  • Angular rates — U.S. RGA-1

Communications & Tracking Systems:

  • FGB MDM-1 is powered Off; FGB MDM-2 is operating.
  • SM Comm panels 1 and 4 are failed; backup circuits are nominal.
  • All other Russian communications & tracking systems are nominal.
  • S-band is operating nominally.
  • Ku-band is operating nominally.
  • Audio subsystem operating nominally.
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • MCOR (medium-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 based at MBS PDGF3 with Keep Alive (KA) power on both strings.
  • MBS: KA power on both strings.  MT: at WS7, with KA power.  POA: KA power on both strings.
  • RWS (robotics workstations): Lab RWS is Off; Cupola RWS is Off.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:47am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 395.3 km
  • Apogee — 397.5 km
  • Perigee — 393.0 km
  • Period — 92.46 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0003322
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.57
  • Solar Beta Angle — -35.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 23178
  • Current Flight Attitude  LVLH TEA (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, x-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -10 deg, pitch: -9.1 deg, roll: 0 deg]) until December 14, then XPOP.

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

SpaceRef staff editor.