Status Report

ISS On-Orbit Status 9 Feb 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
February 9, 2003
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ISS On-Orbit Status 9 Feb 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Day 78 in space for the Expedition 6 crew.  Ahead: Week 11 for Increment 6.

The crew had a very-light-duty Sunday, intended (and hoped) to provide them with well-deserved rest from a stressful week.

After breakfast (1:40am EST), FE-1 Nikolai Budarin started the day off with his daily checkup and watering of the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2/Lada-2 (“Plants-2”) plant growth experiment.

FE-2/SO Don Pettit took the first of two carbon dioxide partial pressure (ppCO2) readings in Lab and Service Module (SM), to help clarify the persistent discrepancy between the SM gas analyzer (GA) readings and the MCA (major constituents analyzer) measurements in the Lab.  [The proper functioning of the GA is in question, but there also appear to be problems with adequate IMV (intermodular ventilation), currently under investigation.]

Budarin collected the weekly data readings of the SVO water supply and SP toilet flush counters for calldown to MCC-Moscow via S-band.

Nikolai also completed the periodic inspection of the Elektron oxygen generator’s gas/liquid system (VM) for the air bubbles that usually linger after an IFM (in-flight maintenance).

On MCC-M Go-ahead, Budarin then terminated the bake-out/regeneration cycle for adsorption bed #2 of the BMP micropurification unit and switched it back to Purify mode.  Both BMP channels are now again running in this mode.  [The regeneration of the air purifier filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

All crewmembers performed their daily physical exercise program on the treadmill (TVIS), resistive device (RED) and cycle ergometer (CEVIS).  CDR Kenneth Bowersox subsequently transferred the TVIS/RED/CEVIS data, accumulated on the devices’ PCMCIA (personal computer memory card international association) cards, to the medical equipment computer (MEC) for subsequent downlink to MCC-H.

Other daily routine maintenance tasks today, performed by Don Pettit, were SOSh life support systems servicing and IMS delta file updating for auto export/import.

Since MCC-H could not establish a video link for Bowersox’s PFC (private family conference) yesterday, his family requested MCC-H to try again.  The aborted PFC was reactivated on the CDR’s timeline today.
For “Diatomeya” world ocean observations, on the Russian task list, Budarin today was to observe and image seawater bloom features (TsKO) and cloud structures in the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  [Bioproductive areas were identified in the West Wind Drift frontal portions, eddy structures in the Falkland-Patagonia Region, colored waters in the Sargasso Sea central part, and the Gulf Stream “delta”.  In the Pacific, the focus was on the Peruvian Upwelling.]
Today’s targets for the Russian “Uragan” (hurricane) earth observation experiment, also a task list item using the Nikon D1 digital still camera (f80-400 zoom lens), were the Himalayas (convergence shooting, i.e., a series of consecutive frames while keeping the target at the center of the camera’s field of view), the cities of Kabul and Salang, the Medvezhi Glacier, the Chekelen Peninsula, and the Aral Sea.

Progress 10P unloading will continue tomorrow.  Reboost with Progress is scheduled for Tuesday (2/11), as reported before.  Also planned for Tuesday: transfer of 20 liters of condensate water to a CWC, and conference on MSG (microgravity science glovebox) with Science Officer Pettit, for Wednesday’s troubleshooting.

Among today’s ground-controlled activities without crew involvement was the regular software dump of the counter within the GNC (guidance, navigation and control) MDM to check whether a NaN (not-a-number) condition has been output by the GPS (global positioning system) receiver in the previous week.  [GPS is being used by ISS for attitude and state data.  On 9/24 last year, a problem with GPS firmware, involving NaN values, caused both GNC MDMs to fail.  This was subsequently fixed with new s/w patches.  The patches were uplinked right after Soyuz docking on 11/1/02 and both GPS systems were powered on and configured to calculate attitude and state information (position & velocity). The GNC MDM today is using the GPS data as its primary state vector and attitude source.  Attitude rates are provided by the U.S. RGA-1 (rate gyro assembly #1).]

Today’s targets for the CEO (crew earth observations) program were Hyderabad, India (scientists have few useful images of this Indian mega city located in the Deccan Plateau, roughly 150 mile NW of the mouths of the Godavari River. Looking carefully just right of track), Urumqui, China (this difficult target city is located in western China near a pass at the northern base of the snowy Tienshan Mountains and the southern edge of the arid Dzungarian basin), Kinshasa, Zaire (thunderstorm and cloudiness was much diminished over equatorial Africa in recent days. Crew was to use this chance for a nadir view of this major city located on the south bank of the Congo River), Sao Paulo, Brazil (the crew should have had an excellent nadir view of this Brazilian megacity located just inland from the coast), Recife, Brazil (this port is also Brazil’s easternmost city. ISS had a nadir pass in fair weather and high sun), Dakar, Senegal (this important city is located near the tip of Cape Verde, the westernmost point of the African continent), Rome, Italy (the crew had a very nice nadir pass over the “Eternal City” located just inland from the west coast of Italy), Eastern Mediterranean Smog (this pass offered a fine vantage point to document smog formation and dispersion from northern Italy’s Po River valley.  As ISS crossed the Italian peninsula, crew was to look obliquely left of track towards the Alps, Venice, and the northern Adriatic Sea), Lower Amazon River Basin (with improving weather, this pass offered particularly good opportunities to enhance the details of water bodies with sun glint. ISS pass was NW of the Amazon estuaries), Caracas, Venezuela (the Venezuelan capital is located just inland from the coast and was slightly right of track), Havana, Cuba (the crew had an excellent fair weather pass over the Cuban capital. As ISS crossed western Cuba, the crew was to look for this city on the north coast, just left of track), Tuamotu Archipelago (an international effort to map an inventory the Earth’s coral reefs continues to request imagery in this target area.  Crew was to use the long lenses of the digital camera for nadir views of the details of the reef structures and islands of this extensive archipelago), Los Angeles, California (this ISS pass over sunny southern California included LA just to the left of track), and Las Vegas, Nevada (less than a minute after LA, ISS track continued over southern Nevada.  Crew was to look just left of track for a good view of the Las Vegas Valley.
CEO images can be viewed at the website

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 6:08am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 386.0 km
  • Apogee — 389.7 km
  • Perigee — 382.3 km
  • Period — 92.27 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005462
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 170 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 24107
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.