Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 31 Aug 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
August 31, 2002
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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.

It’s Labor Day weekend day 1 for the crew, with an off-duty schedule (but a stuffed “job jar”).

As normally on Saturdays, the crew’s timeline called for a thorough cleanup of their home, with three hours set aside for it.

Peggy Whitson initiated recharge of two EMU batteries (#2023 and 2024) from the PSA (power supply assembly) utility outlet.  [The charging takes approximately 24 hours to complete.  The recently discharged EMU batteries 2027 and 2028 are scheduled for return on 9A.]

Per TsUP request uplinked last night, Sergey Treschev transferred a file with electronic Nikon stills to Laptop 3 for a test downlink via the Russian Regul-Packet system.  The images were taken by FE-2 Treschev on 7/16 and 7/18 for downlink via the U.S. OCA (orbiter communications assembly) system.

Sergey also completed the regular inspection of the BRPK-1 water condensate separator.

Daily routine maintenance of the Service Module’s environment control and life support system (SOSh) was performed by Valeriy Korzun, while Peggy Whitson checked up on the status of  the autonomous Lab payloads.

All crewmembers completed their daily physical exercise program, consisting nominally of one hour aerobic and 1.5 hour anaerobic (muscle strengthening) workout.  Aerobic devices are the TVIS treadmill and CEVIS cycle ergometer, anaerobic work is done on the RED (resistive exercise device), while the Russian VELO with Load Trainer combines both modes.

MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and SUBSA (solidification using a baffle in sealed ampoule) have been given the go-ahead for processing four more samples.  The first run is to start about the middle of next week, with completion of the four samples expected within two weeks.

A number of new tasks were uplinked to the station’s “job jar” task list, to be worked at the crew’s option, led by the EXPRESS Rack 2 smoke detector (ER2 SD) replacement.  After a determined search, Peggy Whitson located the missing ARIS (active rack isolation system) tool page, after which rotation of ER2 for the SD replacement could proceed.

A second item on the task list is the taping of an exercise video for two different uses: an Ashland Schools Educational PAO event on 9/17, and  a study activity by the SAMS (space accelerations measurement system) payloads group of an exercise session on the RED.  [For the educational event, the video should demonstrate jogging on TVIS, arm ergometry on the VELO cycle, a workout on the CEVIS ergometer bike, and typical pre-EVA hand and finger strengthening exercises.  For SAMS measurements, the RED should be used as much as practical up to 40 min. maximum.]

The replacement of two frayed harness cords of the RED device was also placed on the job jar, as was the troubleshooting of the malfunctioning TVIS PCMCIA cards, one of which needs to be ready for Peggy Whitson on 9/4 to downlink Treschev’s exercise data. [Peggy is to try reformatting the two cards with the MEC (medical equipment computer).  If this doesn’t work for both cards, the MEC formatting utility may require engineering assessment and refreshment.]

Also on the task list for the crew: a test of the QDM (quick don mask) emergency mode, to verify that the PBA (portable breathing apparatus) and PHA (prebreathe hose assembly) QDMs operate in the emergency mode (positive pressure).

Update on control moment gyro (CMG) spare (ref.: yesterday’s status report):  Investigation of the details of the spare CMG status is still going on.  Results from yesterday’s test were encouraging that the unit is a ready spare.  All test results will be analyzed, and a formal position on its viability as a spare is to be made next week.

Science Update (Expedition Five  11th):
Words of appreciation went up to Peggy Whitson from Lead Increment Scientist Vic Cooley for her spirit and eagerness to resume MSG ops, which “sent a strong and effective message” to the program, reminding everyone that “we have an unprecedented and immensely valuable asset in the ISS crew and facilities”.  The crew was also thanked for operating and taking excellent care of the other payloads besides MSG and SUBSA, especially PuFF, ADVASC, and Interactions, as well as for tackling the ER2 smoke detector R&R.  After SUBSA completion, the PFMI (Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation) furnace will be installed, with several experiment runs to follow.  

Extra-Vehicular Activity Radiation Monitors (EVARM):  Next week’s monthly background radiation badge reading for EVARM will also serve as the first in a series of four weekly pre-EVA badge readings prior to the 9A mission.

GASMAP/Pulmonary Function in Flight (PuFF):   The PuFF team appreciated the crew’s post-EVA PuFF session.  The remainder of PuFF sessions will be monthlies with the next one planned the week of 9/9.

Renal (Kidney) Stone Experiment:   In progress.

Interactions (NTXN):  Continuing.  Ground to crew: “No matter what the attitude, it?s always a good time to Interact!”.

Human Research Facility/Workstation (HRF WS):   n/a

Commercial Refrigerator Incubator Module-Commercial Stelsys (STELSYS):  Experiment is complete and samples are stowed in frozen state in ARCTIC-1. “Waiting for a ride home”.

Microencapsulation Electrostatic Processing (MEPS):  Complete.  To be returned on 9A.

Advanced Astroculture (ADVASC):  In progress.  This week the ADVASC Team completed an IVoDS communication test with Peggy on the Space-to-Ground loop.  Also had successful completion of the ADVASC Gas, Nutrient Fluid, and Condensate Fluid samples on 8/28. ADVASC is nominal.

Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA):  SUBSA has been approved to operate once again and may start the next run by middle of next week.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI):  New payload for Increment 5 will be performed during Stage 9A.

Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS):  SAMS was active and measuring vibratory acceleration environment for EVA-8 and PuFF activation this week.  Currently working on identifying various signatures that appear to be the result of automated equipment, such as pumps and fans found in life support equipment.  One such signal, varies in the 10-20 Hz range over long periods and seems to only appear in LVLH attitude. Russian thruster firing tests next week.

Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS): Captured attitude transitions and EVA-8 activities.  Continuing general characterization and experiment support.

Active Rack Isolation System (ARIS) Support:  n/a

Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES):  PCG STES-008 is performing nominally with a temperature reading of 21.76 deg C.

Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE):  In progress. Deployed outside. Nominal and collecting data.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO-5):  Completed.

EarthKAM:   Planned.  Will be performed during Stage 9A.  

Zeolite Crystal Growth (ZCG):  Complete.  Samples are unloaded and stowed.

ARCTIC Refrigerator/Freezer 1 (ARCTIC-1):  Stelsys samples are holding nominally at -21.0 degC.

ARCTIC Refrigerator/Freezer 2 (ARCTIC-2):  ZCG autoclaves are holding nominally at +5 degC.  

Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA):  Will be performed during Stage 9A.

Crew Earth Observations (CEO):  Today’s targets were Berlin, Germany (nadir pass and just left of nadir.  This large city is more difficult than some to see due to prolific urban forests. ESC [electronic still camera] requested), Eastern Mediterranean Dust (pass near dust source points at the upwind [S] end of active dust plumes.  Crew was to try to shoot source points left and right of track, as ISS passed into North Africa), Angolan Biomass Burning (crew to look left for any fires), and High Central Andean Glaciers (crew to look left for contextual shots of the tropical Andes where several ice fields exist.  These fields and local volcano-top glaciers are proving to be sensitive indicators of local multi-year climate [and melting fast]).

ISS Orbit (as of this noon, 12:05pm EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 390.7 km
  • Apogee — 401.5 km
  • Perigee — 380.0 km
  • Period — 92.4 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0015897
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.59
  • Altitude decrease — 200 m (mean) in last 24 hours
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 21580
  • 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.