Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 17 Aug 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
August 17, 2002
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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.

Crew awoke at 11:00 pm EDT last night, finding thanks uplinked from Houston Flight Control for yesterday’s great EVA efforts as well as birthday wishes for Flight Engineer Sergey Treschev.  Sleep period began today at 11:00 am EDT.

It was a rest day for the crew, except for some necessary tasks, mainly focusing on post-EVA operations by CDR Korzun and FE-1 Whitson [such as Orlan suit dry-out and water tank refill, and removal of the BK-3 oxygen tanks and BRTA battery.]

Peggy Whitson set up the PuFF (Pulmonary Function in Flight) equipment, including the HRF GASMAP (Human Research Facility/Gas Analyzer System for Metabolic Analysis Physiology) and powered it up.  After an initial calibration run, she and Valery Korzun both took the standard post-EVA PuFF test.  [PuFF is a monthly human research procedure which investigates lung function in zero-G over time, particularly after EVAs (which are conducted at reduced atmospheric pressures).]

FE-1 Whitson was also scheduled to initiate the EMU in-suit battery discharge/charge procedure using the backpack fan.  Detailed instructions for the procedure, an alternative to the BSA/BCA (battery stowage assembly/battery charger assembly) in the Airlock, were uplinked yesterday.

EVA-8, the second spacewalk from DC-1 “Pirs”, will not be conducted on 8/23 (Friday) as originally planned, but at a later, yet-to-be set date.  The deferral will allow additional time for replanning of objectives and timeline, caused by yesterday’s curtailed EVA-7 task schedule.  Because of the slip, today’s weekly planning conference with the crew was cancelled.  Plans for Monday and the following days are being completely reworked.  Originally timelined EVA activities will be replaced with other tasks, but that process may not be complete until full planning teams have met in Moscow and Houston on 8/19 (Monday).  There will also be a commensurate change to the sleep shifting plan.

The crew has been informed about the current problem at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) with the Crawler Transporters for the Shuttle. [Both crawlers were found to have cracked bearings on their JEL (jacking, equalization and leveling) cylinders.  Best efforts are currently being made to have a serviceable transporter ready to support the rollout of Space Shuttle Atlantis for STS-112/9A in early September.  It is still too early in the engineering analysis effort to determine whether the crawler schedule will support planned activities.]

Station attitude continues to be sun-oriented XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane).

Today’s targets for the CEO (crew earth observations) program were Congo-Zimbabwe Biomass Burning (crew was asked to shoot regional views of fires and smoke palls.  Any fires over remote unpopulated northern Mozambique were of special interest as indicating new colonization by farmers leaving Zimbabwe due to present land disputes), Angolan Biomass Burning (crew to photograph oblique views to capture the extent of the burning.  Angola savannas burn more than any other part of the planet), Saharan Dust (dust plume exiting Africa into the Atlantic. Of interest: looking right for a dust margin over the ocean off the Mauritanian coastline. Shortly thereafter, crew to look straight down [nadir] for snakelike Karman cloud vortices being shed southward from the Canary Islands), Tashkent, Uzbekistan (regional view of this fast growing urban center, left of track at the foot of the mountains), Cairo, Egypt (good regional views of northern Egypt, Israel and Lebanon left and right of track. Clear weather continued all the way across northern Iraq), Western Mediterranean (good views of southern France [Rhone valley] and the sharp hook of the western Alps, left of track), and Berlin, Germany (as northern Europe clears of cloud, views of northern German cities should be available left and right of track.  Relatively little photography exists for these heavily populated latitudes).

ISS Orbit (as of this afternoon, 3:54 pm EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 393.8 km
  • Apogee — 405.4 km
  • Perigee — 382.2 km
  • Period — 92.4 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0017141
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.58
  • Altitude decrease — 240 m (mean) in last 24 hours
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 21364
  • Current Flight Attitude — XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane = “sun-fixed” [yaw: ~180 deg, pitch: -5.7 deg., roll: 0 deg]).

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

SpaceRef staff editor.