Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 3 Sep 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
September 3, 2002
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ISS On-Orbit Status 3 Sep 2002

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

After the Labor Day weekend, during which the crew managed to work off 3/4th of the "job jar" task list besides resting, today was "back to work day" aboard the station.

CDR Korzun, FE-1 Whitson and FE-2 Treschev ran the first integrated sound level measuring and astronaut hearing assessment exercise of their residency period. [Peggy Whitson first set up the O-OHA (on-orbit hearing assessment) experiment, an EHS (environmental health systems) test to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures. All crewmembers then underwent the test, using individually molded Prophonics ear plugs, Bose ANR (acoustic noise reduction) headsets, and a sound meter for background measurements. O-OHA involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies and sound pressure levels. To conduct the testing, the experimenter ran special "EarQ" software on the MEC. The acoustic environment measurements were taken by Treschev during the day with the SLM (sound level meter) in all modules of the ISS.]

The crew completed a body fit check in the contoured "Kazbek-U" couches of the Soyuz TM-34 CRV (crew return vehicle) docked to the FGB. The fit check in the three shock-absorbing seats of the descent module (SA) required the crewmembers to don their Sokol pressure suits, take their seats and measure the gap between the top of the head and the upper edge of the seat liner, with results reported to MCC-M. The three Sokols were then set up for dry-out. [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. The check is intended to verify the fit of the seat liners in view of the change in crewmembers’ body length during extended stay in weightlessness.]

Korzun and Whitson performed the second major inspection of the TVIS (treadmill with vibration isolation and stabilization) chassis and its components since introduction of the new procedure (first checkout was 8/21), going by a 12-page list of procedural instructions. [The two-hour inspection involves the removal of forward and rear deck assemblies, verifying running belt tension, then untensioning it and adjusting the aft drum to be able to lift the belt up and inspect the orientation of the rivet-nuts fasteners of its slats underneath, inspecting the front and rear drum set screws, the truss rollers and the chassis interior, retensioning the belt, installing the forward and rear deck assemblies, and cleaning up.]

MCC-M determined the supply of Japanese/Russian HDTV (high-definition television) tape cassettes on board to be sufficient for further HDTV experimenting, and gave the go-ahead to CDR Korzun and FE-2 Treschev to continue. [Of the remaining eight sessions of videotaping facial expressions during exercise and "interview" for medical examination, two were conducted today. The remaining tapes are to be used for recording Earth views and two additional medical sessions around the time of the visiting crew/Soyuz 5S arrival.]

CDR Korzun completed the periodic inspection of the BRPK-1 water condensate separator unit (BRPK-2 is deactivated).

To bring the increased humidity level, and with it temperature, down again to nominal values, TsUP reactivated the SKV-1 air conditioner. This worked OK, and SKV-1 is currently On (besides SKV-2). Korzun conducted the newly introduced inspection of the fan in the SKV-1, checking for beaded moisture. If such moisture is found, the fans of the heat exchanger (VT) and heat exchanger condenser (VTK) must also be checked for possible moisture on the flexible air ducts.

FE-1 Whitson performed the daily routine tasks of autonomous payload status checkup and IMS (inventory management system) delta file preparation, while FE-2 Treschev conducted the daily maintenance of SOSh life support systems in the Service Module (SM).

At 8:05am EDT, flight engineer Whitson conducted an interactive media interview for the Mt. Ayr Record-News, in Mt. Ayr, IA, Peggy’s hometown newspaper. The Q&A exchange with the paper’s publisher, to run in tomorrow’s edition, primarily focused on her experiences aboard the ISS, life in zero-G, her first EVA, and her hometown ties.

TsUP reported that yesterday’s conversation of the two cosmonauts with Moscow Provincial Governor Gromov went very well and thanked MCC-Houston for providing U.S. communications assets (Ku- and S-band).

Korzun and Whitson conducted a refresh review of the DOUG (dynamic operational ubiquitous graphics) software for the upcoming Robotics Day 4 on 9/5 (Thursday). DOUG is a software program that provides a birdseye-view graphical image of the SSRMS (space station remote manipulator system), showing its real-time location and configuration on a PC during its operation. For MSS (mobile service system) Ops Day 4 on 9/5, the system will be using DOUG 9A files, and the operations will continue the checkout of the SSRMS and MBS (mobile base system), particularly the PDGF2 (power and data grapple fixture #2). It will also get some robotics time for Peggy and Valery in preparation for 9A and S1 truss transfer operations.

FE-2 Sergei Treschev was also scheduled today to unstow (from FGB) the Russian MedOps SZM-MO-21 experiment "Ecosphera" for setup, charge its power supply and connect the Kriogem-03 refrigerator (brought up on Progress 4P in May ’01). The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger, power supply unit, and incubation tray for Petri dishes, is intended 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.

All crewmembers performed their daily physical exercise program on TVIS, RED (resistive exercise device), and VELO plus Load Trainer.

POC (Payload Operations Center) thanked Peggy Whitson for downlinking the RED exercise video which the SAMS (space acceleration measurement system) team had requested for characterizing the vibration disturbances onboard.

Plans for the major reconfiguration of the Russian segment (RS) onboard Ethernet crew support network BVS (similar to the U.S. OpsLAN) are progressing. Preparations for cable installations are to be made tomorrow, with the actual implementation of the reconfig scheduled for 9/9 (Friday), pending MCC-H review. [A new Wiener laptop will be brought up on Progress 9 for the possible replacement of the current SSC3 (station support computer #3) Wiener. Also proposed: its possible relocation to the crew cabin, where it will primarily be used for IMS (inventory management system). MCC-H has requested that no actual disconnections/reconnections be made until U.S. specialists had a chance to review details.]

Thanks to crew assistance, the MCA (major constituent analyzer) is now up and running. However, it still needs to be calibrated before furnishing useful data. [The device, a subsystem of the Lab air revitalization (AR) rack, is a mass spectrometer that furnishes partial pressures of major cabin air constituents (oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, water, and methane). It has been idle after replacement of its MSA (mass spectrometer assembly) and VGA (verification gas assembly), waiting for reactivation. Its reactivation began with startup of an ion pump to reduce the spectrometer chamber pressure and maintain it an order of magnitude lower than the ambient vacuum obtained by earlier exposure of the chamber to space via the rack’s CO2 vent valve (CVV). This will ensure minimal interference of free-floating molecules with the air samples introduced in the chamber later, which are then ionized by a glow filament and broken down into their constituents by a magnetic field causing them to fly (and be counted) on known trajectories depending on their masses.]

The first run of SUBSA (solidification using a baffle in sealed ampoule) experiments in the MSG (microgravity science glovebox) after the recent ampoule fracture is scheduled for tomorrow. [The PSRP, which gave the go-ahead after the clean-up, also recommended some changes, e.g., a minor software modification to enable video camera viewing of sample removal from the thermal chamber, bagging the furnace after another failure, etc.]

The VAJ (vacuum access jumper) leak testing is underway and showing good results (no change from last tests).

During the successful removal and replacement of the smoke detector (SD) in EXPRESS Rack 2 (ER2) on 8/31, the ER2’s electrical grounding strap broke and could not be installed as required. Attempts to use the strap from ER3 failed, when it also broke. Other racks’ grounding straps cannot be used, and there are no spares on board. ER2 is currently powered down, as remedial actions to recover ER2 functionality and failure mode of the straps are being discussed. (ER3 is also powered down but not required until after arrival of 9A payloads). There are two spare straps on the ground, which will be manifested on 9A.

A conjunction with a piece of orbital debris (Object #16564, SOLWIND satellite booster) is predicted for early Thursday morning. Preliminary projections place the radial miss distance as close as 125 m from the ISS, i.e., in the "red" zone. More accurate tracking data are expected tonight, and if conjunction passage remains "red" by TCA-30 (time of closest approach minus 30 hours), Moscow will be requested to prepare and execute an avoidance burn by Progress 8P.

MCC-M has proposed a new date for the planned reboost maneuver, viz.: during the night of 9/11, Sunday), instead of 9/13. A prior avoidance burn will affect the ballistics data for the reboost.

A joint agreement on ISS flight attitude profile during the next two high-Beta-angle periods is being reached by the two MCCs. [During the next high-Beta phase, in late September, Houston wants ISS to stay in earth-oriented LVLH throughout. During the following period in October, a brief switch to XPOP mode can probably be accepted as long as Beta is smaller than -10 degrees, when the CMGs have cooled down some. In a possible trade with Russian payload interests, a longer period in XPOP could then be accommodated in late October, followed perhaps by the Russian-proposed XVV Y-nadir attitude (x-axis in velocity vector, station rolled 90 deg. toward the Sun) for some time.]

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:56 am EDT):

Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) and Thermal Control (TCS):
Elektron O2 generator is powered On (32-amp mode), on backup pump. Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is ON in MANUAL cycle mode #5, i.e., 10-min. cycle time (vacuum pump failed). U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber on command override. BMP Harmful Impurities unit: Absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.

SM Working Compartment: Pressure (mmHg) — 759, temperature (deg C) — 27.6, ppO2 (mmHg) — 146.1, ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.9.
SM Transfer Compartment: Pressure (mmHg) — 751, temperature (deg C) — 20.9.
FGB Cabin: Pressure (mmHg) — 752, temperature (deg C) — 21.7.
Node: Pressure (mmHg) — 751.52, temperature (deg C) — 25.2 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
U.S. Lab: Pressure (mmHg) — 753.0, temperature (deg C) — 25.0, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a;
Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock): Pressure (mmHg) — 753.0, temperature (deg C) — 28.6; shell heater temp (deg C) — 27.5, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
PMA-1: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.8
PMA-2: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 14.3

(Note: Partial pressures ppO2 and ppCO2 in U.S. segment [USOS] not available because MCA [major constituent analyzer], though running, still needs to be calibrated (see above).

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):
Both P6 channels fully operational. Beta Gimbal Assembly (BGA) 2B and BGA 4B in AutoTrack mode (solar-tracking).
SM batteries: Battery #1 is off-line; all other batteries (7) are in "Partial Charge" mode.
FGB batteries: Battery #5 is off-line battery #3 is cycling; all other batteries (4) 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 On; SKV-2 is On.

Command & Data Handling Systems:
C&C-3 MDM is prime, C&C-2 is back-up, and C&C-1 is in standby.
GNC-1 MDM is prime; GNC-2 is Backup.
LA-1, LA-2 and LA-3 MDMs are all operating.
PL-1 MDM is Off (cold backup); PL-2 MDM is operating as primary.
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.

Attitude Source:
3 CMGs on-line.
State vector — US GPS (SIGI string 1)
Attitude — Russian segment
Angular rates — US RGA1 (rate gyro assembly 1)

Communications & Tracking Systems:
All Russian communications & tracking systems are nominal.
S-band is operating nominally.
Ku-band is operating nominally.
Audio subsystem operating nominally.
Video subsystem operating nominally.
MCOR (medium-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.

SSRMS/Canadarm2 at MBS PDGF 1 (mobile base system/power & data grapple fixture 1), in EVA-8 viewing position, with Keep Alive power on both strings (based on MBS).
MBS: Keep Alive power on both strings.
RWS (robotics workstations): Lab RWS is Off; Cupola RWS is Off.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:52am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 390.1 km
Apogee — 400.6 km
Perigee — 379.7 km
Period — 92.3 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0015488
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.59
Solar Beta Angle — -23.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Altitude decrease — 230 m (mean) in last 24 hours
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 21624
Current Flight Attitude — XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane = "sun-fixed" [yaw: -0.5 deg, pitch: -5.7 deg., roll: 0 deg]). Will remain in XPOP until solar Beta drops below -10 deg on 9/6.

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

SpaceRef staff editor.