Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 10 Nov 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
November 10, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 10 Nov 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Begin of Week 3 for Expedition 8.

After station inspection and morning hygiene, before breakfast and first exercise, CDR/SO Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri underwent their first session of the periodic Russian biomedical assessments PZEh-MO-8 (body mass measurement) and PZEh-MO-7 (calf volume measurement). [Kaleri set up the BMM mass-measuring device, which uses calibrated springs to determine the subject’s mass in weightless space, and stowed it away after the tests.  Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the ISOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference points, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures.]

FE Kaleri worked on Russian equipment for the on-board TORU and Relocation training course, setting up the hardware and cables between the laptop TP1 on the Service Module (SM)’s computer table along with connections to the power outlet, signal conversion unit, rotational and translational hand controllers, etc.  [The components, such as the BSST central unit, were installed in permanent locations, and the cables for the TORU and relocation trainer (for the upcoming relocation of the Soyuz TMA-3 from the DC-1 “Pirs” to the FGB nadir port) are not to be disconnected in the future.  Next step after the setup of the permanent trainers arrangement was a thorough checkup.]

Completing the microbial analysis of water samples collected on 11/7 from all three potable water ports with the WMK (water monitoring kit), Science Officer Foale collected the microbiological data of the incubated MCDs (microbial capture devices), including visual analysis for colony growth, and then called them down to the ground.

Michael Foale stowed the Renal Stone experiment hardware used by the two crewmembers in their sample collection session last week.

The CDR also completed EarthKAM operations by shutting down and disassembling the equipment, then stowed it for future use.

Sasha conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities), while Mike conducted the regular routine status checkup of the autonomous Lab payloads (currently only PCG-STES010).

Foale conducted a CBT (computer-based training) session in preparation for tomorrow’s scheduled 30-day functionality test of the HRF GASMAP (Human Research Facility/Gas Analyzer System for Metabolic Analysis Physiology). [Tomorrow’s GASMAP activity is somewhat different than the way Mike trained since PuFF (pulmonary function in flight) software will be used along with GASMAP, to provide data for the ISS Environment Monitoring specialists at MCC-H.]

The crew also reviewed the onboard training course for tomorrow’s new EPO (Educational Payload Operations) demo activities, which are to feature EVA tools and flight activities.

Both crewmembers completed their daily physical exercise program (2.5 hrs.) on TVIS treadmill, CEVIS cycle ergometer, and RED anaerobic exerciser.

Mike Foale took the daily cabin air ppO2 (oxygen partial pressure) measurement of the CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) for calldown to the ground, where it is used for trending analyses.

At 11:25am EST, the crew participated in an interactive TV exchange with veteran Skylab astronauts Owen Garriott, Joe Kerwin, Ed Gibson, Paul Weitz, Jerry Carr, and Jack Lousma in celebration of the 30th
Anniversary of the last mission on America’s first space station.  The Skylab crews are participating in a daylong series of events in Huntsville including addressing the annual Von Braun Forum in Huntsville, education outreach and extended learning activities, and the opening of a Skylab Archive. [Skylab was launched on May 14, 1973, and was subsequently visited by three crews of three astronauts each, who not only repaired severe damage sustained by the Saturn-V-carried space station in the first 60 seconds after its launch, thus turning looming defeat of the $2 billion dollar program into full success, but also conducted a rich and highly successful experiment program.  The last crew, Carr, Gibson and William Pogue, were launched on 11/16/1973 and returned on 2/8/1974, i.e., after 84 days 1 hour, increasing previous mission length by about 50%.  Their work included observation of the Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments.  They completed 1,214 Earth orbits and four EVAs totaling 22 hours, 13 minutes.]

The crewmembers again had a “free” hour each for station familiarization and acclimatization, as is standard daily rule for the first two weeks after starting station residency.

On Saturday night at about 6:30pm EST, CDR Foale reported hearing a transient noise aft of the TESS (temporary sleep station) during the sleep period, for roughly 10 minutes in duration, which disturbed his sleep.  At about that time, the ground had commandeda fast pan/tilt on the Lab camera.  A test performed last night with the Lab TV camera produced a similar noise, from the same general direction.

This morning at 4:00am, the crew called down their concern regarding insufficient airflow in the Airlock (A/L).  This was traced to an incorrect configuration of the IMV (intermodular ventilation) duct.  The ducting was subsequently reconfigured to the correct IMV return port.

Today’s CEO (crew earth observation) targets, limited in the current XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, and including the targets of the Lewis & Clark 200-year memorial locations, were Lagos, Nigeria (this major African port city had 14.68 million people last year and ranks sixth in the world.  Nadir pass.  The city lies Galveston-like on both sides of a coastal lagoon, on the barrier island and the mainland opposite),Caracas, Venezuela(looking left on the coast for this city [3.5 million] which has doubled since 1970),Mexico City, Mexico(nadir pass over this city of at least 21.2 million, the world’s third largest city),Puebla, Mexico(nadir pass over this neighbor [population 2.6 million] of Mexico City),Johnston Island Reef, Pacific (the island, measuring 1000 by 200 yards, is ringed by a coral reef enclosing a lagoon 8 miles long),American Samoa, Pacific (as ISS passed across the east end of this small island chain:  the crew was to look right for detailed images of the coral reefs.  The largest island in this US possession has a 3000-foot peak and one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the South Pacific Ocean.  [The two large islands at the westernmost end of the chain are the independent nation of Samoa].), Johannesburg, South Africa(nadir pass over this major city),Patagonian Glaciers(detailed images [400- and 800-mm lenses] were requested of the smaller glacier tongues that extend off the two high ice fields.  Handheld imagery has provided sufficient detailed imagery that a major descriptive work can be compiled of the Northern and Southern ice fields.  A recent article in the journal Science [Oct. 17] shows that the volumes of 63 Patagonian glaciers, measured from SRTM data, thinned twice as fast between 1995 and 2000 as they did in the prior twenty years.  Global warming explains only part of the thinning; increased melt water lubrication leads to faster downhill sliding of the glaciers, which in turns explains some of the thinning), andTuamotu Archipelago, Pacific (ISS passed along the axis of this double chain of islands, several of which have not yet been imaged with a 400 mm lens).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

SpaceRef staff editor.