Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 27 Dec 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
December 27, 2002
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ISS On-Orbit Status 27 Dec 2002

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

Upon wake-up at the regular 1:00am EST, the crew was thanked for their hard work and persistence with IWIS (internal wireless instrumentation system) ops yesterday, as well as for their pertinent comments. MCC-H will incorporate their recommendations when the next IWIS activities are timelined.

Early in the morning before breakfast, all crewmembers performed the second part of the MedOps PHS (periodic health status) assessment (after yesterday’s MO-9 urinalysis), taking blood samples for analysis with the U.S. PCBA (portable clinical blood analyzer) and the Russian MO-10 “Hemokrit” equipment.  [Taking turns as subject and CMO (crew medical officer), the crew was to complete the tests before breakfast and before the first exercise session.  While PCBA analyzes total blood composition, MO-10 particularly measures the hematocrit (red blood cell) value of their blood.   It is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell count (normal range: 30-45%) tends to go down over time.  After the blood labs activities, the ISS residents also took the PHS subject evaluation exam.  All data, including from MO-10, PCBA and yesterday’s MO-9 urinalysis, were entered in the IFEP (in-flight examination program) on the medical equipment computer.  After the PHS exam, all hardware was stowed.]

FE-1 Nikolai Budarin performed a functional test of the fan of the Russian POTOK-150MK air purification unit in the Service Module (SM).  The troubleshooting included inspection of electrical insulation on the wires going from the circuit boards to the fan for melting or other damage.

FE-2/SO Don Pettit completed the leak check operations for the starboard hatch window installation in the Node begun yesterday, using the VAJ/ISA (vacuum access jumper/internal sampling adapter) hose assembly that was to be hooked up to Node nadir MPEV (manual pressure equalization valve).  Pressure readings were taken after 8 hours and today, i.e. after 24 hours.

Don Pettit swapped the BSTC (biotechnology specimen temperature controller) and GSM (biotechnology specimen temperature controller) payloads,  both located in EXPRESS rack 4 (ER4) with lockers in ER3 in preparation for upcoming experimentation.

Nikolai Budarin had 1.5 hours scheduled for cleaning of vents on FGB closeout panels and checkout of fans.

Budarin also conducted a brief tag-up with ground experts on wrench fit checks for the two Vozdukh BVK vacuum valve packages.

CDR Kenneth Bowersox was scheduled for Lab1O4 and Lab1P4 RFCA (rack flow control assembly) rack flow regulator unit reconfiguration, an item originally listed in the “job jar” task list.

Nikolai performed the daily checkup of the activated BIO-5 Rasteniya-2/Lada-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment that researches plant growth and development under spaceflight conditions.

Don took the daily CO2 (carbon dioxide) readings with the CDM (carbon dioxide monitor), in order to help resolve discrepancies between ppCO2 (carbon dioxide partial pressure) readings by the SM gas analyzer and U.S. MCA (major constituents analyzer).

Daily routine servicing tasks were done by FE-2/SO Pettit (maintenance of the SOSh life support system), CDR Bowersox (daily status check of autonomous Lab payloads), and FE-1 Budarin (preparation of the daily inventory system update file for downlink to TsUP).

Ground specialists are currently looking into a minor issue with the CEVIS (cycle ergometer with vibration isolation), whose heart rate transmitter apparently requires the crew to hold the CEVIS control panel within 10 inches of their chests in order to pick up a heart rate, instead of the nominal operating range of 30 inches.

Today’s targets for the CEO (crew earth observations program) were Detroit, Michigan (crew was to look slightly right.  ESC [electronic still camera] requested.  Sun glint and coastlines should have made for dramatic views), Washington, D.C. (ESC. Sun glint and coastlines should have made for dramatic views), Yangtze River Delta (crew to shoot coastlines of this large estuary, where human modification is swiftly changing the outline, especially with landfill extensions on the downstream side of islands), Shanghai, China (China‚s economic hub, on the south side of the Yangtze estuary. ESC), Lahore, Pakistan (nadir pass over this important border city; ESC), Yamuna River; Delhi, India (1. Panoramic views looking south for defunct river systems in the desert would be useful [the ground is examining the possibility that the Yamuna, tributary of the upper Ganges, flowed into the Arabian Sea repeatedly in the past rather than to the Bay of Bengal].   2. Crew then to look a touch right for Delhi. The city is hard to see: the urban region lies on both sides of the broad curve of the Yamuna River.  Crew to watch for the radial pattern of highways converging on the city. ESC), Libyan geology (nadir pass over oil-rich rock outcrops.  Mapping swath requested of diagnostic ancient glacial valleys now re-exposed by erosion after hundreds of millions of years.  Valley fills are more porous and contain hydrocarbons in places), Inland deltas, Chad, SW Sudan (mapping swaths requested:  1. In Chad features appeared right of track for 1.5 minutes.  2. Then Sudanese features appeared left of track from nadir to 3 degrees off track for 1 minute.  These features appeared in both desert and wetter landscapes, the latter [in Chad] being easier to see as green swamplands.  In the dry regions divergent stream beds may have been the only visual indication), Lagos, Nigeria (nadir pass; ESC.  Crew to try to get the entire conurbation in one or two views), Johannesburg, South Africa (nadir pass; ESC.  Crew was to try to get the entire conurbation in two views, one left and one right of track.  More oblique views get neighboring cities in this 150-mile long string of towns.  This is the economic hub of sub-Saharan Africa), and Haze in industrial SE Africa (three topographic levels should have showed different haze concentrations: densest on the coastal plain [below 3000 feet], less dense on the inland plateau [5-6000 feet], and very low on the high mountain plateau of Lesotho [altitudes 8-10,000 feet].  All should be visible as convenient half to high obliques looking right of track. [The Drakensberg Mountains fall from 10,000 feet to 3000 feet almost sheer in what has been called the most dramatic feature in Africa]).

SpaceRef staff editor.