Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 12 Jan 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
January 12, 2003
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ISS On-Orbit Status 12 Jan 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Ahead: Week 7 for Expedition 6.  

The crew was thanked for yesterday’s TV downlink taping for the Educator Astronaut program kickoff on 1/21, that took several “takes” until they were satisfied with it.  Today, Sunday, is generally considered another “off-duty” day, but the crew still had a number of necessary activities scheduled to keep their ship and its on-board ops on an even keel.

Before breakfast at about 2:20am EST, all ISS crewmembers completed another session of the periodic Russian medical experiment protocols PZEh-MO-7 (calf volume measurement) and PZEh-MO-8 (body mass measurement).  FE-1 Nikolai Budarin set up the MO-8 equipment and later broke it down and stowed it away.  [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the ISOG 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 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].

Budarin completed his daily routine monitoring of the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2/Lada-2 (“Plants-2”) payload, a 5-min. task.

FE-2/SO Don Pettit continued his daily monitoring of the ACS (atmosphere control and supply) system CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels in SM and Lab, taking two readings with the CDMK (CO2 monitoring kit).  [This is in support of a currently ongoing program to resolve discrepancies between CO2 partial pressure (ppCO2) readings by the Russian SM gas analyzer and the U.S. MCA (major constituents analyzer).]

Detailed instruction on EMU (extravehicular mobility unit) electrical harness inspection and EMU donning were uplinked for tomorrow’s (1/13) planned EVA preparations dry-run.  [Major objectives for the dry-run are for the crewmembers to familiarize themselves with the choreography between IV (Budarin) and EV (Bowersox, Pettit) during actual EVA preps on 1/15, review and practice of the procedures to be performed on EVA day, including EMU donning and SAFER (simplified aid for EVA rescue) donning, EMU TV check, heated glove checkout, Airlock crew lock (A/L C/L) activities, and EMU doffing.]

Don Pettit had a special EMU sizing task scheduled today, for the spacesuit originally intended to be used by Budarin.  [Because of the considerable foot pain discomfort suffered by Mike Lopez-Alegria during his 11A EVA due to a wrongly specified EMU leg/boot size (falsely sized to account for zero-G spine lengthening), Pettit’s instructions focused especially on suggestions for proper LTA (lower torso assembly) sizing and boot fit with his BSIs (boot sizing inserts).]

Pettit also completed preparations for tomorrow’s standard pre-EVA crewmember PHS (periodic health status) evaluation, breaking out the AMP (ambulatory medical pack) and setting up the MEC (medical equipment computer).

Nikolai Budarin completed the periodic check-out of the Elektron oxygen generator’s VM gas/liquid system for the air bubble that usually lingers after an IFM (in-flight maintenance).

Nikolai also performed the weekly SVO water supply status counter reading as well as SP urine collection and pretreat assembly inspection and toilet flush counter reading for calldown to MCC-M via S-band.

Don Pettit switched the Lab CCAA (common cabin air assembly) back to the portside air conditioner from the starboard unit.  [Yesterday, the port-CCAA was moded to starboard (SB) because it had been operating for 32 days, and the limit for continuous CCAA operation without a dryout is 33 days.  However, since the SB-CCAA has exhibited frequent “WET” indications in the past, suggesting that water is passing through the heat exchanger into downstream ducting, operation of the port-CCAA is preferred until the root cause of this problem can be identified.]

All crewmembers had their weekly PFCs (private family conferences), Sox and Don via Ku- and S-band, Nikolai per VHF/radio.

Budarin completed the daily routine maintenance of the SOSh life support system, while CDR Bowersox checked up on Lab payload status (PCG-STES010, ZCG), and Don supported the automated import/export of IMS (inventory management system) files.  [With the release and onboard implementation of the new IMS software version 1.37, the capability exists now for the automatic import of all outstanding IMS delta files on the station.  Crew support consists in executing a batch file that performs the automated import (morning) and export (evening) via links on the SSC (station support computer) start page.]

The CMG-4 (control moment gyroscope #4) spin motor command current, which indicated a small increase on 1/9 (see 1/10 Status report), is still stabilized, and the CMG continues to function nominally. MCC-H specialists are keeping an eye on it.

As part of the Russian “job jar” task list, Budarin was to continue the Uragan (“hurricane”) Earth imaging program with video cam and Nikon D1 digital still camera (f400 lens).  [His targets for yesterday and today were the big African rift/fault zone alongside the White Nile valley and its series of lakes, African volcanoes and offshore regions, the Comoros, Madagascar, city of Lagos, Panama Canal, and the Andes mountain range with its glaciers.]

A second task list item for Nikolai is the ongoing Diatomeya experiment, which conducts observations and obtains imagery of bioproducing areas in the world oceans.  [Yesterday’s and today’s targets in the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean included an area along the Bay of Guinea, river discharge of the Orange River (Atlantic), dynamically active areas SW of Madagascar (Indian Ocean), the Benguela Upwelling (Atlantic), waters in the vicinity of Hof Island, and color features in the Falkland-Patagonia region.]

Another routine job which occasionally pops up on the Russian task list concerns photography of the KROMKA experiment tablet deployed on the plume deflector of the SM’s plus-pitch thrusters to collect effluent samples.  [One to three pictures are to be taken with the Kodak 760 digital still camera (DSC) from the EVA hatch 1 window in the DC-1 docking compartment.]

Today’s targets for the CEO (crew earth observations) program were Khartoum, Sudan (nadir pass; ESC [electronic still camera]), Dakar, Senegal(nadir pass; ESC, also: oblique views of dust blowing out to sea), Angolan Biomass Burning (opportunity to document aerosols blowing off southern Africa into the Atlantic basin.  Vast quantities of smoke, dust and industrial pollutants blow into the ocean every year, exiting over the Angolan and Namibian coasts, and accumulate under the permanent high pressure dome of the tropical S Atlantic), Industrialized SE Africa (crew was to look left for possible concentrations of aerosol over the inland plateau of southern Africa.  Of interest: A nadir mapping strip over of the coastal mountains, which host South Africa‚s largest patch of rainforest, in danger of burning), Puerto Rico (mapping pass requested [overlapping views]), St. Croix, Caribbean (nadir pass.  Detailed views needed for mapping project), Central America (Dynamic Event:  cloudfree conditions, for views of Costa Rica [nadir]; then Panama [off-track left, 400 or 250 mm lens]), and Necker Island, Hawaiian chain (nadir pass. Detailed views needed for mapping project).
CEO images can be viewed at the website

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:01am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 390.7 km
  • Apogee — 394.2 km
  • Perigee — 387.2 km
  • Period — 92.37 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005171
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.59
  • Altitude loss — 160 m (mean) in last 24 hours
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ‚98) — 23671
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.