Status Report

NASA Space Station 23 Dec 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
December 23, 2003
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NASA Space Station 23 Dec 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below. As of this morning, the station has circled Earth 29060 times (equivalent to roughly the distance to Jupiter).

Early in the morning, after wakeup at 1:00am EST, FE Alexander Kaleri deployed three 9V-battery-driven acoustic dosimeters in the Service Module (SM), to take static sound level measurements at the Central Post, on the Vozdukh panel, and as close to the TVIS treadmill as possible. In the evening, after 16 hrs. of operation, the data will be recorded on the computer and the hardware powercycled for another 24-hr. take.

Later, Alex Kaleri conducted performance testing on battery #8 in the SM. [This 800A unit, the former #7 battery, has for the last several weeks been in the #8 slot and off line in capacity restoration mode (ROM) for troubleshooting. Its ZRU-8 charge/discharge unit was deactivated by TsUP/Moscow beforehand and later reactivated. For the performance check, Kaleri used the “Elektronika MMTs-01” multimeter to measure battery voltage (expected value: ~25V).]

CDR/SO Michael Foale reviewed an OBT (onboard training) for today’s CBOSS-FDI (Cellular Biotechnology Support Systems-Fluid Dynamics Investigation) activity. After the VTR was turned on for recording camcorder video of the ops, Mike worked with the FDI for several hours, in three sessions, to determine how quickly one person can perform syringe injections into a TCM (tissue culture module), in preparation for other upcoming experiments. [The session employs a new camera setup, using the MWA (maintenance work area) and the previously created flash-shielding paper tube for the Sony DCS-760 digital still camera with Nikon flash assembly; this setup is also used to obtain imagery of FDI polystyrene beads in a TCM.]

Kaleri performed the periodic functional closure test of the Vozdukh CO2 removal system’s AVK emergency vacuum valves (last time done: 11/21). [The AVKs are critical because they close the Vozdukh’s vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA). Access to vacuum is required to vent carbon dioxide during the regeneration of the absorbent cartridges (PP). During nominal operation, the AVK valves remain open.]

In the continuing long-term troubleshooting of the nonfunctioning Russian ASN-2401 satellite navigation antenna system, Alex Kaleri, with ground support, searched for the apparent fault in the connection to the ASN’s A76 antenna subsystem, checking electric continuity by taking resistance measurements between specific pins and connectors. [When operating, the ASN will use GLONASS/Uragan satellites (the Russian equivalent of GPS) to correct the on-board state vector (SV) information (i.e., ISS position & velocity referenced to a time hack, or epoch). Up to now, SV corrections/updates have to be uplinked daily from the ground, along with time setting, time synchronization and various power bus checks, or require SV transfers from the U.S. segment from time to time. ASN will also be critically important for the docking operations of the European ATV (automated transfer vehicle). The ASN equipment was originally installed in the SM before launch but was found faulty and had to be returned to the ground. After repair it was shipped again to the station on Progress 11P, re-installed by Yuri Malenchenko on 7/8/03, and subjected by TsUP controllers to several months of testing, ending on 11/30. It still has not worked since.]

Foale performed the regular inspection of the RED (resistive exercise device) and conducted the newly required weekly inspection of the TVIS treadmill’s wire ropes for signs of fraying.

The FE continued his current round of monthly preventive maintenance on RS air ventilation systems, today in the “Pirs” DC-1 docking compartment, where he cleaned the two PF1 & PF2 dust filters of its air duct system as well as the protective mesh screens of the V1 & V2 ventilator fans (last time done: 11/6).

Kaleri removed the SRVK-2M condensate water processor’s multifiltration unit (BKO) that has reached its service life limit. The old BKO was replaced with a new unit and stowed for deorbiting in Progress 12P. [BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities and has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput.]

CDR Foale prepared for and then performed another EPO (Educational Payloads Operation) demonstration, today showing the behavior of magnets in weightlessness. [Video and voice of the demo was downlinked in real-time, to be used on the ground for educational purposes.]

With the Elektron oxygen generator continuing to operate, Sasha Kaleri performed an inspection of its gas/liquid separator (GZhS) for possible presence of gas bubbles. [The check involved temporary removal of the GZhS to gain access to electrical connectors. The MMTs-01 was then used to measure resistance (Ohms) on the liquid sensor (SNZh), before the GZhS was reinstalled.]

Kaleri prepared the daily IMS (inventory management system) delta file for automatic export/import to update the database.

The crew worked out according to their regular daily physical exercise program of 2.5 hrs on the TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser, and VELO bike (with load trainer).

As reported (12/18), the external lower outboard camera (LOOB) on the S1 truss has on several occasions failed to tilt down under temperatures at the higher end of the nominal range. Further on-orbit troubleshooting and/or tilt movement of this camera by the ground or crew has been suspended (unless needed for critical operations) until engineers have had time to investigate and develop a “forward” plan, to be presented to mission management by about 1/9/2004.

While last month’s crew inspection of the CMRS (crew medical restraint system) showed no visible cracks on the strap-down board, close-up photographs indicate what appears to be microfractures over metal screw heads, which, if getting larger, could provide a high-voltage defibrillation ground path from the patient to ISS structure. The crew was requested to protect the CMRS in the indicated areas with Kapton tape, and also to verify that a potentially loose torso strap buckle will remain in place during an emergency. [The ironing-board-like CHeCS (crew health care systems) CMRS allows strapping down a patient with a harness for medical attention by the CMO (crew medical officer). The CMRS can be secured to the ISS structure within two minutes to provide a patient restraint surface for performing emergency medical procedures, such as during ACLS (advanced cardiac life support). It can also be used to transport a patient between the station and the Orbiter middeck. It isolates the crew and equipment electrically during defibrillations and pacing electrical discharges, accommodates the patient in the supine zero-G positions, provides cervical spine stabilization and, for a three-person crew, can also restrain two CMOs (crew medical officers) during their delivery of medical care.]

Mike Foale’s inspection of the PFMI (Pore Formation & Migration Investigation) hardware yesterday successfully pinpointed where further troubleshooting efforts are to be concentrated. [The ground is preparing a procedure to remove an upper gear wheel and perform some maintenance, to be performed sometime next week.]

At 10:10am EST, both crewmembers participated in two successive interactive televised PAO interviews (Ku-band & S-band) of ~10 min. each, with KNX Radio in Los Angeles, CA, and NPR/National Public Radio (Scott Simon).

TsUP/Moscow conducted a series of tests involving the KURS rendezvous radio navigation system via the FGB’s Komparus portal and FGB avionics systems to access the KURS. [Progress 12P, on the -Y axis of FGB/SM, served as test target, after its thrusters were disabled and yaw and pitch control transferred to the SM for the time. The checkout involved the FGB’s universal commutating unit (UKP), activation of the US22-1 matching unit to the SM & Progress, and testing of TsUP’s command program to Progress, as well as command execution by onboard program pre-stored in the SPP automated sequencer.]

No CEO targets uplinked for today.

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:40pm EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On. Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Manual Mode 5/3). U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is on Standby (ready in dual-bed mode). TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating. MCA (major constituents analyzer) is off (in Life Extending Mode). 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) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 25.6; ppO2 (mmHg) — 148.7; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 2.5
  • SM Transfer Compartment: Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 19.5.
  • FGB Cabin: Pressure (mmHg) — 752; temperature (deg C) 22.3.
  • Node: Pressure (mmHg) — 746.43; temperature (deg C) — 23.5 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab: Pressure (mmHg) — 749.06; temperature (deg C) — 24.8; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock): Pressure (mmHg) — 749.26; temperature (deg C) — 24.0; shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.0, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.6
  • PMA-2: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 11.2

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational. BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Directed Position (non-suntracking, “night glider”/”sun slicer” drag reduction mode).
  • SM batteries: Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is still disconnected in slot #8 for troubleshooting; all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • FGB batteries: Battery #5 is off (capacity restoration mode, ROM); all other batteries (5) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 in Standby mode; PCU-2 in Standby mode.

Command & Data Handling Systems:

  • C&C-1 MDM is prime, C&C-2 is back-up, and C&C-3 is in standby.
  • GNC-1 MDM is prime; GNC-2 is Backup.
  • INT-2 is operating; INT-1 is Off.
  • EXT-2 is On (primary), EXT-1 is Off (both now upgraded to R3).
  • LA-1, LA-2 and LA-3 MDMs are all operating.
  • PL-1 MDM is Off; PL-2 MDM is Operational.
  • APS-1 (automated payload switch #1) and APS-2 are both On.
  • SM Terminal Computer (TVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string 1 dropped out 11/22).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string #3 dropped out 10/22).

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available:3680 kg (8113 lb) as of 12/11/03 [SM(755) + FGB(2573) + Progress M(352) + Progress M-1(0)]. (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Attitude Control Systems:

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

Flight Attitude:

  • LVLH YVV (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, y-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -89.9 deg, pitch: -8.9 deg, roll: 1.8 deg]), with CMG/TA (thruster assist) Momentum Management.

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 (on string 2).
  • Ku-band is operating nominally.
  • Audio subsystem is operating nominally (IAC-1 is prime, IAC-2 is off).
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • HCOR (high-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 based at MBS PDGF #1/LEE B, with Keep Alive (KA) power on both strings.
  • MBS: KA power on both strings.
  • MT: latched and mated at WS4.
  • POA: KA power on both strings.
  • RWS (robotics workstations): Lab RWS is On (DCP connected); Cupola RWS is Off.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:09am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 370.8 km
  • Apogee — 374.9 km
  • Perigee — 366.6 km
  • Period — 92.0 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006083
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.66
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 115
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 29060
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.