Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 31 Dec 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
December 31, 2002
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ISS On-Orbit Status 31 Dec 2002
ISS

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Last Day of the old year.  Since the station circles Earth 15 times in a 24-hour day (at present 15.6 times, called “Mean Motion”), it crosses the date line between 2002 and 2003 as often.  Thus, our happy crew will step into the New Year 15 times, until for them it is finally 2003 (of course, time base on board is GMT [Greenwich Mean Time = Universal Time, UT, five hours ahead of EST, six of CST]).

After wake-up at 1:00am EST and the daily morning inspection, CDR Ken Bowersox set up the SLM (sound level measurement) audio dosimeters for another noise survey in the station, tracking today’s crew ops acoustically.

FE-1 Nikolai Budarin took photos of the internal Service Module (SM) aft end docking assembly used for the Soyuz and Progress dockings. These images will be used to refine current understanding of the docking conditions.  [The goal is to take photos of the scratch mark left by the head of the docking probe on the internal surface of the docking cone.  Nikolai used the Kodak 760 digital still camera to take two pictures with the hatch closed down and downlinked them later during the day via OCA.]

Bowersox was scheduled to perform an audit of the SSC (station support computer) CD library.  [Intent of this activity was to verify the location and type of about eight compact disks in the CD library case.]

FE-2/SO Don Pettit undertook a CBT (computer-based training) session for the HRF (human research facility) Ultrasound equipment, in order to prepare himself for the HRF Ultrasound functional test scheduled for 1/2/03 (Thursday).

Pettit also took his daily CO2 (carbon dioxide) readings with the CDM (carbon dioxide monitor) kit, 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).  [He was requested by the ground to change out the battery in CDM #1003 before the measurements.  Also, until further notice, he is to use only one CDM to take readings (choice of either #1003 or #1004).  MCC-H is mainly interested in preserving battery life as much as possible.]

Ken Bowersox completed the periodic audit and inspection of PBAs (portable breathing apparatus), PFEs (portable fire extinguishers), Extension Hose/Tee Kit, and QDMs (quick don masks, including recording serial numbers and locations as well as verification that the PBA is free of damage.  [This information is needed in order to ensure functionality and to track shelf life/life cycles on the hardware.]

The crew was scheduled for the Expedition 6 CHeCS (crew health care systems) emergency/contingency medical operations OBT (on-board training) drill, a one-hour U.S. training exercise designed to refresh crewmembers‚ acuity in applying ACLS (advanced cardio life support) in an emergency.  [Deploying (without actually operating/manipulating) onboard equipment such as the RSP (respiratory support pack), CMRS (crew medical restraint system), ALSP (advanced life support pack) and defibrillator stowed in the Lab CHeCS (crew health care systems) rack, the space dwellers went step-by-step through the ACLS manual.  Among else, each crewmember performed CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) on a jerry-rigged “human chest” dummy, using the CMRS (crew medical restraint system).  Objectives of the exercise include practicing communication and coordination necessary to perform medical emergency procedures, locating appropriate emergency medical components, and determining each crewmember‚s individual method of CPR delivery in zero-G.  After the drill, Don Pettit stowed the equipment]

The crew performed their regular daily physical exercise program (2.5 hrs.), and Sox completed the weekly TVIS (treadmill) maintenance.

The daily routine maintenance of the SOSh life support system in the SM was performed by Pettit, while Bowersox prepared the daily IMS inventory update file for downlinking and checked up on the status of the Lab payloads (PCG-STES, ZCG).

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

At 4:45am, the crew downlinked New Year‚s greetings via TV to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) at Star City, represented by its director, veteran cosmonaut General Pyotr I. Klimuk, on S-band (audio) and K-band (video).

At 5:18am, Dr. Don Pettit was scheduled to hold an amateur radio session with ham radio fans at “René Mure” school, Commelle-Vernay, France.  [“Rene Mure” school in Commelle-Vernay (2900 inhabitants) is located in central France (Loire Department). The elementary school “Rene Mure” counts about 180 pupils and 8 classes.  Its space oriented educational project develops in two directions: study of astronomy and practical telecommunications.]  

At 9:50am, the crew was scheduled to engage in two live televised downlinks of 10 min. each with KEX Radio, Portland, OR, and the Portland Oregonian.  Interviewers were KEX Radio’s Mike Phillips, and Portland Oregonian‚s Richard Hill.

Later in the day, before sleep time (4:30pm), the crew was scheduled to downlink New Year’s greetings to MCC-H and MCC-M via S-band and VHF.  FE-1 Nikolai Budarin also had a PFC (private family conference).

Yesterday’s replacement of the EIB (electronics interface box) of the U.S. starboard-side S6 CCAA (common cabin air assembly) by the crew was successful.  The S6 CCAA was activated by he ground afterwards and operated for 30 minutes with nominal performance.  The new EIB checked out perfectly.

Correction of 12/27 Status Report:  The VAJ (vacuum access jumper) leak check operations in preparation for the Node hatch window installation was intended but not completed due to missing O-rings. Both the leak check and the window installation are now on hold until O-rings can be located or new seals flown on ULF-1.

Today’s targets for the CEO (crew earth observations program) were Ganges River Delta (sun glint opportunity right of track. Crew was to note the seaward margins of the delta with their protected forests), Rangoon, Burma (nadir and a touch right, on the easternmost distributary of the Irrawaddy River delta.  ESC [electronic still camera] requested), Irrawaddy River Delta (sun glint opportunity right of track.  Of interest: monitoring the type of coastal changes in this major, tide dominated delta), Bangkok, Thailand (nadir pass; ESC), Karachi, Pakistan (nadir pass; ESC), Bombay, India (nadir pass; ESC), Dakar, Senegal (nadir pass; ESC), Great Barrier  Reef (great pass down the axis of this largest biological structure on the planet), New Zealand (track right over Wellington city [S tip of North Island], on the strait between North and South Islands.  New Zealand has been cloud covered for many weeks), Congo basin pass (this region is seldom cloudfree. New internationally based logging is beginning in this most remote part of the Congo basin [Congo-Cameroon-Gabon border]. Suggest a mapping swath at nadir as far as the Congo River [~1 min] to document logging along roads and around settlements.  Looking left for the famous confluence of the black water of the Congo River and the and light brown water of the Ubangi River [Congo drains the rainforest where dissolved organic residues color the water dark; the Ubangi brings light colored desert silt from the Sahara borderlands carried in suspension]), Limpopo River delta (ISS pass followed the radius of a major African coastal feature which crosses the entire width of southern Mozambique.  For the past ~100 million years since Madagascar drifted away from the African coast, the Limpopo River has deposited vast quantities of sediments to form the great southern bulge of Mozambique.  This is one of the world’s poorest countries and is virtually unmapped.  A set of detailed mapping [overlapping] views under track [and overlapping views off track if time/angles allow] for ~1.5 min [to the coast] would be very useful for geological, vegetation and settlement mapping), Cape Town region, South Africa (detailed views of the south coast of Southern Africa are requested, from nadir to oblique. The Cape Mountains are famous for their vineyards and spectacular scenery.  Cape Town’s peninsula is in the distance off right.  Bartolomeo Diaz rounds this cape in 1488 after decades of expeditions by the Portuguese to find the southern tip of Africa.  His crew immediately forces him to turn back.  [The Spanish response is to sail west to reach the Far East first]), Northern South America (unusually cloudfree conditions allow photography from the coast inland to the seldom seen forested mountains of the Guyana Highlands [right of track] for about 1.5 min), Grand Canyon (nadir opportunity), and Costa Rica (dry-season opportunity to shoot an otherwise cloud covered part of the world.  Looking nadir, then left of track to record vegetation patterns [and any cloud patterns]).

A HAPPY, HEALTHY and SUCCESSFUL NEW YEAR to all of us in and below the ISS and its orbit!

SpaceRef staff editor.