Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 15 Feb 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
February 15, 2002
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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.

Onboard activities focused largely on a carefully choreographed dry-run of EVA preparations for the 2/20 U.S. Airlock (A/L) spacewalk. After preparing the A/L with the appropriate gear and about 80 min. before start of A/L depress, the two Flight Engineers (first Carl Walz, later Dan Bursch) initiated their prebreathe procedure by breathing oxygen (O2) from their face masks while performing 10 min. of exercise each. Since wearing the prebreathe masks during the full-up dry-run and then doing it again for the actual EVA would push the flight rule limits on cabin O2 partial pressure (fire limit), Dan and Carl wore the masks only during the exercise portion today to limit O2 flow into the station. CDR Onufrienko then ingressed the A/L and closed the hatch between it and the Node, to start A/L depress to 10.2 psi (with an intermediate hold), while assisting EV1 (Walz) and EV2 (Bursch) with EMU donning. After doffing the masks, they then purged their EMUs and started in-suit prebreathe of O2 for de-nitrogenation at 10.2 psi. During the entire EVA prep dry-run, no major issues came up which would stand in the way of next Wednesday’s spacewalk.

ISS Mission Management Team (IMMT) conducted an EVA readiness review today, noting that the crew had completed all EMU, SAFER and timeline checkouts without issues. After both MCC-Moscow and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) stated their readiness to support the spacewalk, the IMMT gave the Go for 2/20 (Wednesday), pending completion of a few remaining open issues on the ground. TsUP will inhibit antennas on the Russian segment (RS), including the GTS (global timing system) experiment, and CSA will arrange for the SSRMS/Canadarm2 to be moved to the appropriate viewing position on Monday, 2/18. The EVA will start at about 7:00 am EST and last an estimated 6.5 hours. In order of priority, its objectives are: Retrieving and relocating EVA tools for 8A, checking out two DDCUs (dc-to-dc converter units) and their CIDs (circuit interrupt devices), removing four shrouds from the Z1 truss, transferring the Russian/US Strela 2 adapter to the FGB and mounting iy on its EFGF (electrical flight grapple fixture), secure latches on the four HPGTs (high-pressure gas tanks) outside the A/L with wire ties, and perform photo documentation. The latter will include imaging of about eight ammonia QDs (quick disconnects), part of the external thermal control system. Expectations are that during the EVA the spacewalkers will receive a call from veteran Astronaut and former US Senator John Glenn who on this day, 40 years earlier, orbited Earth as first American with Mercury 6. The entire crew may also talk with Glenn and NASA Administrator O’Keefe after the EVA.

The crew completed the scheduled fit check of the “Kazbeks”, the three shock-absorbing seats in the Soyuz descent capsule (SA). The fit check required the three crewmembers to don their Sokol pressure suits, take their seats and measure the gap between the top of the head ands the top edge of the structure facing the head. The results were reported to MCC-M. Ê[The Kazbek-Us are designed to withstand g-loads during launch and orbital insertion as well as during reentry and brake-rocket-assisted landing. Each seat has two positions: cocked (armed) and noncocked. In the cocked position, they are raised to allow the shock absorbers to function during touchdown].

CDR Onufrienko completed another session with the Russian “Ecosphere” MedOps experiment SZM-MO-21. The equipment, set up on 2/12, consists of an air sampler set, a charger, power supply unit and incubation tray for Petri dishes. It is used to determine microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.

Yuri was also completed a closer inspection of the IK0501 gas analyzer (GA) in the SM which appears to have produced unchanging (static) ppCO2 values at 2.5 mmHg in the last several days. The device analyzes the air flow pumped through it for humidity (H2O), oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2), and converts its measurements into partial pressure values going to a monitoring laptop and, if they exceed limit values, to the SM’s caution and warning panel (PSS). In October last year its CO2 absorber unit (filter) had been removed and replaced by Mikhail Tyurin. Yuri’s inspection today consisted in taking two readings in the morning and evening.

In the DC-1 docking module, Onufrienko performed the regular (once a month) check-up on the circuit breakers (AZS) on the DVP amp switch panel (DVP) — they should all be On — and the LEDs of the fuses in fuse panels BPP-30 and BPP-36.

CDR switched absorbent bed #1 of the BMP harmful impurities removal system to the 24-hr. regeneration process. Filter #2 remains in purification mode.

Yesterday’s cabin depressurization emergency drill was judged by ground specialists as very successful. A number of excellent suggestions were provided by the crew as inputs to future procedure updates. One recommendation, regarding its frequency, was that this OBT (onboard training) should be done every two months.

RSC-Energia reported launch date of Progress M1-257 (7P) now firm for the period of 3/19-21. Progress 6P, currently berthed at the SM aft port, will undock before the launch and will then first eject the Kolibri microsatellite before entering the atmosphere. Russian vacuum chamber tests on soft and liquid waste containers such as those stored in the 6P cargo compartment have shown that they will retain structural integrity during the depressurization of the chamber. However, since they will vent their air during the depress, “flying around the compartment like small deflating balloons”, they should be fastened by the crew to compartment stanchions wherever possible.

As of last night, the crew had performed two head cleanings on the failed VTR2 (video tape recorder #2), and this seems to be going in the right direction since ground-commanded tests are showing improvement in replayed test patterns. A third head cleaning was done this morning.

In the science/payloads area, the ADVASC (Advanced Astroculture) plant growth facility is now active on its largely autonomous 60-day run, growing mustard plant seeds, half of them already second space generation. For the EVARM (EVA Radiation Monitoring), pre-EVA badge readings have been completed as planned. And the EXPPCS (Experiment of Physics of Colloids in Space) has completed a successful 72-hr. run.

Frequent crew inspection of the AV-1 condensate water vent line’s “T” connection in the Lab (which spilled some water during the dump event on 1/12/02) has to date been positive: the QD remains dry.

Upcoming conjunction with Object 27101 (Indian PSLV rocket debris): Tomorrow, 2/16, time of closest approach (TCA) at 12:34 pm EST. Miss distance 3.26 km. No avoidance maneuver necessary.

Today’s targets for the CEO program were Ganges River Delta (the few afternoon clouds around this pass should not have prevented the crew from getting some good regional context photos of this large complex delta system of eastern India and Bangladesh. ISS approached the area from the SW, just inland from the Bay of Bengal), Industrialized Southeastern Africa (a cold front is clearing the region and the pass afforded good oblique views of the industrialized heartland of South Africa. The valleys of the Orange and Vaal Rivers were right of track), Somalia Coast (of interest: documenting vegetation contrasts along the Somali coast during pre-El Nino conditions, paralleling the coast, with a near-nadir view for mapping), W. Mediterranean Dust and Smog (as a strong winter storm develops over Western Europe and moves east, this pass should have provided good view of Saharan dust drawn northward. As ISS crossed the Algerian coast, crew was to try for oblique and limb shots to the right of track), Eastern United States (of interest: oblique view to either side of track to detect aerosol accumulations in the stable polar air mass located there), and Gulf of St. Lawrence (of interest for this pass: nadir views of ice accumulation on the mountainous west coast of the island of Newfoundland).

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:17 pm EST today):

Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS):

  • Elektron O2 generator is On (16 Amp mode, the lowest possible setting). Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is in MANUAL cycle mode #5 (vacuum pump failed). U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is Off.
  • BMP Harmful Impurities unit: Both absorbent beds (Filters #1 & #2) in Purify mode.
  • SM Working Compartment: Pressure (mmHg) — 744, temperature (deg C) — 26.3, ppO2 (mmHg) — 159.5, ppCO2 (mmHg) — 2.5 (? see Notes below and above)
  • SM Transfer Compartment: Pressure (mmHg) — 752, temperature (deg C) — 21.5; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • FGB Cabin: Pressure (mmHg) — 752, temperature (deg C) — Ên/a; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Node: Pressure (mmHg) — 743.34, temperature (deg C) — 22.2 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab: Pressure (mmHg) — 743.81, temperature (deg C) — n/a, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a;
  • Joint Airlock (equip. lock): Pressure (mmHg) — 743.50, temperature (deg C) — n/a; shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.4, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.0.
  • PMA-2: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 17.9.

(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]. Russian GA (gas analyzer) readings of ppCO2 in the SM are invalid).

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Beta Gimbal Assembly (BGA) 2B in Autotrack mode, BGA 4B in Directed position (125 degrees).
  • SM battery #3 is cycling; all other ( 7) SM batteries are in “partial charge” mode.
  • FGB battery #5 is offline; all other (5) batteries 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-2 MDM is prime, C&C-3 is back-up, and C&C-1 is in standby.
  • GNC-2 MDM is prime; GNC-1 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, and Ku-band is operating nominally in open loop pointing mode.
  • Audio subsystem operating nominally
  • Video subsystem operating nominally (but VTR2 is non-functional, though improving).
  • MCOR (medium-rate communications outage recorder) operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 at Port stow position (on Keep Alive power on both strings).
  • RWS (robotics workstations) are Off.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:45am EST):

  • Mean altitude — 383.3 km
  • Apogee — 387.1 km
  • Perigee — 379.5 km
  • Period — 92.2 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005614
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.61
  • Decay rate — 400 m (mean) in last 24 hours
  • Solar Beta Angle: -26.9 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. â98) — 18503
  • Current Flight Attitude — LVLH +XVV ZLV (local vertical/local horizontal: +X-axis in velocity vector; Z-axis in local vertical), with TEA (torque equilibrium attitude [pitch: -10 deg, yaw: -7 deg, roll: 0 deg]). Until 2/17.

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

SpaceRef staff editor.