Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 3 Feb 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
February 3, 2003
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ISS On-Orbit Status 3 Feb 2003

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

After yesterday’s smooth liftoff of the Soyuz rocket with 10P/Progress M-47 at Baikonur (7:59:40am EST), the spacecraft is headed toward tomorrow’s rendezvous and docking with the ISS.  [Test activities today included activation and checkout of the on-board TV camera and TV transmitter (Klest-M), the third course correction maneuver (DV3, 2.0 m/sec), followed by trajectory measurements, systems monitoring, and checkout of the VHF radio system for the TORU (teleoperator control system) backup approach and docking system over Russian ground station #34 (RGS 34, Shelkovo).]

Tomorrow’s 10P docking under automatic “Kurs”-control, is set for 9:50am EST (initiation of final approach: ~9:40am), with the remote control TORU system switched to “hot backup”.  [At 8 km range, the Progress automated software will activate the vehicle’s headlight (docking is 4 min. after local sunset) and switch radio beam angle to “narrow”.  If the subsequent automatic approach/docking with Kurs fails, FE-1 Nikolai Budarin will take over with the TORU system, performing station-keeping at 30 m range, then complete the docking after ISS attitude has been moded to free drift (inertial hold).  Once ISS is in free drift, TORU ops must be conducted within 16 min.]

At 3:00am EST this morning, in preparation for the docking, Budarin and CDR Ken Bowersox began a two-hour “refresher” training course on the TORU system.  They were supported by a TORU specialist at MCC-Moscow.  The training included review of pertinent ODFs (operations data files), docking data, and results of mathematical modeling of the approach, as well as consultations with the ground trainer.  [With the manual TORU mode, a crewmember located in the SM performs necessary guidance functions in the event of a failure of the automated Kurs rendezvous/docking system of a Progress cargo vehicle (TGK).  The ship’s motion will then be controlled from the TORU control panel with two hand controllers and a situational display of television signals (ISS image plus range, velocity, and relative angular position data) from the Progress-mounted Klest-M video camera, shown on two monitors (VKU and Simvol-Ts).]

FE-2/SO Don Pettit crew started another in-flight session of the PuFF (pulmonary function in flight) experiment, activating the “huff and puff” hardware, then performing its initial calibration and the standard test.  During the day, his two crewmates followed suit, with photo/video-recording for historical documentation.  Additional data were gained from an abbreviated repetition of the test sequence.  Pettit finally powered the PuFF equipment down and stowed it.  [Today’s activity served the continuing investigation of the effects of long-term micro-G exposure and EVAs on the pulmonary (lung) function, laying the groundwork for future experiments which are key to understanding and maintaining crew health.  Each monthly PuFF session involves five lung function tests. It utilizes the GASMAP (gas analyzer system for metabolic analysis physiology) in the Human Research Facility, along with a variety of other PuFF equipment such as a manual breathing valve, flowmeter, pressure-flow module, pressure and volume calibration syringes and disposable mouthpieces.]

Nikolai Budarin prepared the RS (Russian segment) video system for automated downlink of the videotape of the Plasma Crystal 3 (PK-3) experiment recorded on 1/22.  The downlink was then initiated by the Russian automated daily timeline sequencer (SPP) over RGS.

Afterwards, CDR Bowersox and Budarin worked on the TV system, configuring it for live video transmission of the Progress docking to MCC-M/TsUP via U.S. Ku-band.  They then conducted a transmission test of the setup.  [At crew’s choice, the approach of Progress from 1 km in to docking can also be monitored with the U.S. ETVCG (external TV camera group), using the S1 outboard lower camera (CP3, camera port 3) and the Lab camera (CP13).  Tilt and pan angles were uplinked.]

MCC-H has cleared the RPCM (remote power controller module) controlling the Lab RWS (robotics workstation) components for operation, with the exception of its RPC1 for VTR1 (video tape recorder #1)which is failed open. The currently installed DCP (display and control panel) cable can be left connected to the Lab RWS, and the RWS is supporting the video configuration for docking coverage.

Both Bowersox and Pettit performed the psychological MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool).  [This is a time-constrained test of cognitive abilities that is routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS test or on special CDR’s, crewmember’s or flight surgeon’s request.]

Budarin conducted his daily routine checkup (and watering as required) of the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2/Lada-2 (“Plants-2”) plant growth experiment.

Nikolai also checked up on the MO-21 “Ecosfera” air sampler and incubation equipment, monitoring colony growths for atmospheric microbial analysis.  [MO-21 determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.]

Don Pettit took two ppCO2 (carbon dioxide partial pressure) readings with the CDMK (CO2 monitoring kit) in the SM and Lab, one in the morning, one in the evening.  [These samplings are in support of an activity to resolve discrepancies between ppCO2 readings in the SM by the SM gas analyzer and in the USOS (U.S. segment) by the MCA (major constituents analyzer).]

Pettit also conducted the periodic inspection of the RED (resistive exercise device), including retightening of its bolts (if required).

Budarin completed the daily routine maintenance of the SOSh life support system in the SM, while Bowersox did the Lab payload status checkup and the preparation of the daily IMS (inventory management system) delta file for auto export.  The inventory update, requested by MCC-M radiogram, was based on equipment transfers performed last week.

All crewmembers conducted their regular daily physical exercise regimen, on TVIS treadmill, CEVIS cycle and VELO bike with load trainer.

Yesterday, C&C-1 MDM (command and control multiplexer/demultiplexer #1) experienced a failure to “diagnostic” state.  The computer was reinitialized and is currently operating nominally in “standby” state.  C&C-2 isin “primary” state and C&C-3in “backup” state; both are operating nominally.  [Initial data dumps have revealed that this was due to a known software condition called an “ADA exception”. The dumps are being analyzed to determine what specifically caused this failure.]

To familiarize the crew with the upcoming software upgrade of the onboard C&C, GNC (guidance, navigation and control) and INT (internal) MDMs as well as PCS (portable computer system) computers with the next-revision software, a detailed step-up plan was uplinked.  [After a Russian software patch (5.04) has rendered the SM compatible with Revision 3 (R3) C&W (caution and warning) events, the uploads of the U.S. computers will take place between 2/6 and 2/12.  A second Russian patch (7.01) will then be uploaded by MCC-M into the SM Central Computer (TsVM) and Terminal Computer (TVM) systems.  The uplink process has been tested in three dry-runs, one formal test, and one MCT (mission config test). The plan uses a 24-hour check-out procedure after loading the backup MDMs before transitioning them to Primary; this will then be followed by a 24-hour check-out period on the Primary MDMs before loading the remaining MDMs).]

Today’s targets for the CEO (crew earth observations program) were Rangoon, Burma (a touch left of nadir; ESC [electronic still camera]), Irrawaddy River Delta, Burma (ideal near-nadir sun glint opportunity to capture detail of waterways in the delta, where coastlines are shifting all the time), Nairobi, Kenya (nadir pass; ESC), Patagonian Glaciers (the crew’s recent success in getting glacier tongues from the cloudy west side of the southern Andes encouraged the ground team to ask for more during this slightly less cloudy periodon the west side), and Bogotá, Colombia (a touch right of track; ESC).
CEO images can be viewed at the website

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 2:00pm EST).

Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) and Thermal Control (TCS):

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On (32 Amp mode).  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On.  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is On.  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating.  MCA (major constituents analyzer) is operating.  BMP Harmful Impurities unit: Absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is Off; SKV-2 is Off.
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 753; temperature (deg C) — 25.4; ppO2 (mmHg) — 160.5; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 2.5 (suspect).
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 751; temperature (deg C) — 19.8.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 752; temperature (deg C) — 22.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742.62; temperature (deg C) — 22.5 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 745.02; temperature (deg C) — 22.7; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a;
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):  Pressure (mmHg) — 745.02; temperature (deg C) — 20.7; shell heater temp (deg C) — 21.1, ppO2 (mmHg) — 164.4; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 6.1.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.6
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 17.2

(n/a = data not available)

Propulsion System (PS): 

  • Total propellant load available [SM(820) + FGB(2898) + Progress(0)] — 3718 kg (8197 lb) as of 1/30/03.  (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  Beta Gimbal Assembly (BGA) 2B and BGA 4B both in “blind” dual-angle mode (directed position).
  • SM batteries:  Battery #7 is off line (failed); all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #1 is off line; battery #2 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (4) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 and PCU-2 both in Standby mode.

Command & Data Handling Systems:

  • C&C-2 MDM is prime, C&C-3 is back-up, and C&C-1 is in standby.
  • GNC-1 MDM is prime; GNC-2 is Backup (new patches loaded on both).
  • EXT-1 is On (primary), EXT-2 is off.
  • LA-1, LA-2 and LA-3 MDMs are all operating.
  • PL-2 MDM is On (primary); PL-1 MDM is off (diagnostic
  • APS-1 (automated payload switch #1) and APS-2 are both On.
  • SM Terminal Computer (TVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational. Lane 1 is out of the set (as of 11/14/02).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.

Attitude Source:

  • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed).
  • State vector — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Attitude — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Angular rates — U.S. RGA-1

Flight Attitude:

  • LVLH TEA (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, x-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -10 deg, pitch: -9.1 deg, roll: 0 deg]), CMG/TA (thruster assist) momentum management).
  • Solar Beta Angle:  1.7 deg (magnitude decreasing).

Communications & Tracking Systems:

  • FGB MDM-1 is powered Off; FGB MDM-2 is operational.
  • All other Russian communications & tracking systems are nominal.
  • S-band is operating nominally.
  • Ku-band is operating nominally.
  • Audio subsystem operating nominally.
  • Video subsystem operating nominally, but VTR1 is off.
  • HCOR (high-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 based at MBS PDGF2 with Keep Alive (KA) power on both strings.
  • MBS: KA power on both strings. 
  • MT: latched at WS4, with KA power. 
  • POA: KA power on both strings.
  • RWS (robotics workstations): Lab RWS is Off; Cupola RWS is Off.

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 6:23am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 387.0 km
  • Apogee — 390.8 km
  • Perigee — 383.1 km
  • Period — 92.30 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005689
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 200 m
  • Solar Beta Angle — 1.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 24014
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.