Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 28 Feb 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
February 28, 2002
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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.

The crew was commended and thanked this morning by Flight Control for their help with the recovery from the computer and S-band failure incident yesterday. By last night, conditions on board had returned to normal.

Update/Recap of yesterday’s “event”: The failure of command and control computer C&C3 MDM, in Primary position, appears to have been caused by a data file load uplinked as part of the currently on-going 4B2 battery reinitialization procedure. Such uploads, so-called Pre-Positioned Loads (PPLs), are used to update everything from onboard FDIR (fault detection, isolation and recovery) limits to “load shed” (power reduction management) tables. After the recent R2 transition to the upgraded version of communications and control systems software (CCS s/w), PPLs written in R1 have become unusable. The PPL uplinked yesterday carried the correct content, but an R1 address. At first, this affected the C&C MDM’s interface with the S-band system, resulting in telemetry loss, followed by complete failure of C&C3 when the ground attempted to reestablish comm between it and the S-band. C&C1 automatically transitioned from Backup to Primary, but failed also when the Command Server (CS) computer at MCC-Houston resumed PPL uploading to the bad address. C&C2, starting from “cold” Standby, now became Primary, and it power-cycled (rebooted) C&C-1 and C&C-3. Since its “cold” take-over, however, does not include automatic enabling of comm with the S-band, the CS did not continue the PPL uplink. Ground teams then spent two shifts returning the C&Cs and all other systems impacted by the MDM transitions to a nominal configuration (currently: C&C1 in Primary, C&C2 in Backup, C&C3 in Standby position). ISS attitude control, handed over to the Russian MCS (motion control system) thrusters when comm between USOS and RS GNC (guidance, navigation and control) was lost, has since been returned to the U.S. CMGs.

Work is underway on the ground to reschedule yesterday’s postponed TEPC (tissue equivalent proportional counter), HRF Rack and Robotics/SSRMS activities.

FE-1 Carl Walz performed the first crew maintenance on the autonomous ADVASC (Advanced Astroculture) payload, taking samples of nutrient fluid, condensate and air inside the growth chamber.

FE-2 Dan Bursch activated cylinder #8 of the PCG-STES-007 (Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System #7) experiment. Both PCG-STES-007 and 10 continue to run autonomously and smoothly in the “background” of crew activities.

Ground teams are still investigating the EXPPCS (Experiment of Physics of Colloids in Space) anomaly (s/w malfunction and operating system drive failure). Troubleshooting by the crew by replacing a data hard drive on 2/26 did not solve the problem.

Dan Bursch set up and activated the SSAS (solid sorbent air sampler) for taking samples in Lab and SM near the center of the modules in well-ventilated zones. These sampling tests are performed once every two weeks and coordinated with other atmospheric checks such as for formaldehyde, for which Bursch deployed the FMK (formaldehyde monitoring kit) later in the afternoon. The SSAS and FMK require 20 minutes to deploy and activate, 24 hr of unattended sample collection, and 10 min of deactivation.

The crew performed the mandatory OBT (onboard training) emergency egress drill in case of onboard fire. Objectives of the exercise were to review fire response procedures (FRPs) and all incorporated actions for the case of a software-detected fire; to practice crew communication and coordination necessary to perform emergency FRPs; to ensure familiarization with support equipment (Compound Specific Analyzer/Combustion Products [CSA-CP], portable breathing apparatus [PBA] and portable fire extinguishers [PFE]) used in FRPs; and to ensure familiarization with laptop (PCS) displays and automatic software response associated with a fire scenario. The exercise involved all three crewmembers and took about an hour.

Walz and Bursch completed the standard CMS (crew medical systems) post-EVA health assessment. This test, performed individually by one crewmember at a time, requires a prescribed workout protocol on the physical exercise equipment, and the results are logged on the MEC (medical equipment computer) laptop for later download.

Crew was given the go-ahead for resuming TVIS treadmill exercise, with a restriction of 6 mph on the motor speed setting. All three performed their standard exercise regimen today.

Bursch was scheduled to perform the monthly maintenance of the CEVIS (cycle ergometer with vibration isolation), and Walz for the TVIS.

In a two-hour activity, CDR Onufrienko removed storage battery #3 in the SM (one of eight total), after its charger had been deactivated by TsUP via command radio link, and replaced it with a new unit brought up by Progress 6P and stowed in the FGB.

Carl Walz completed the periodic FFQ (food frequency questionnaire) on the MEC, required by MedOps for nutrition assessment.

Troubleshooting of the Node SD2 (smoke detector #2), which had exhibited a trip condition and a lens contamination message on 2/25, is continuing on the ground. The unit will remain inhibited regardless of the outcome, since SD1 is functioning nominally.

In preparation for 8A cargo transfers, an early list for cargo prepacking was uplinked. A tag-up with the crew to discuss 8A transfers was scheduled for later today.

Early in the morning (4:20 am EST), the crew conducted an amateur (ham) radio conversation with students from the Russian city of Kursk, exchanging greetings and answering questions from the kids. [Typical question to Onufrienko: “This is your second space flight. What is the difference between Mir station and the ISS? In your opinion, has Earth changed during these several years?”. Bursch and Walz were asked, “If I were an American student, what would I have done to become an American astronaut? What kind of education is needed? Are there any special institutes or universities in the USA to prepare specialists for space programs?”]

The crew also performed the regular daily maintenance tasks (SOSH inspection, payload status check, IMS delta file).

CEO Earth observational target areas today were Taiwan Smog (Taiwan was under a southwesterly wind field this pass. As ISS tracked toward and over the southern tip of the island, crew was to look obliquely to the left of track toward the NE for evidence of aerosols moving from the industrialized areas towards the East China Sea), E. Mediterranean Dust and Smog (high pressure was breaking down this pass, but as the station approached southeastern Turkey from the NW, crew was to look to the right of track for oblique views of aerosols over the extreme eastern Mediterranean Sea. On second pass, satellite imagery indicated plumes of dust blowing northeastward out of Libya, and as ISS approached the Libyan coast from the NW, crew was to look to the left of track for oblique views of this weather phenomenon), Eastern United States (with a frigid, arctic air mass over the central US, of interest: oblique views to the right of track for of both aerosols and frozen water bodies across the lower Great Lakes and the Ohio River valley. On second pass, crew was asked to look to the left of track for oblique views up the Ohio River Valley), W. Mediterranean Dust and Smog (with a storm forecast to form near Gibraltar this pass, crew was advised to look obliquely to the right of track, as ISS crossed the Mediterranean, for dust blowing northward from Algeria), and Canadian Rocky Mountains (this pass crossed the southern end of this target. Of interest: to try for oblique context shots to the left of track of this snow covered mountainous region).

ISS Orbit (as of this noon, 12:06 pm EST):

  • Mean altitude — 383.4 km
  • Apogee — 390.6 km
  • Perigee — 376.3 km
  • Period — 92.2 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010584
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.61
  • Altitude decrease — 430 m (mean) in last 29 hours
  • Solar Beta Angle: -57.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 18711
  • Current Flight Attitude — XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane [yaw: ~0 deg, pitch: -5 deg., roll: 0 deg])

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

Launch of STS-109/Columbia was postponed from this morning to tomorrow, 3/1, due to low temperatures at KSC. Launch window: 6:22 – 7:24 am EST.

SpaceRef staff editor.