Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 Aug 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
August 11, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 Aug 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  This is Week 15 for Expedition 7.

Before breakfast and first activity, the crew started the week off with another session of the periodic Russian medical experiment protocols PZEh-MO-7 (calf volume measurement) and PZEh-MO-8 (body mass measurement).  CDR Yuri Malenchenko set up the MO-8 “scales” equipment and later broke it down and stowed it away.   [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG 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.  For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless (but not massless), the Russian IM “scales” measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants.  By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed].

Malenchenko worked on the Russian condensate water processor (SRV-K2M).  After it was turned off briefly, he replaced the BKV water conditioning unit with a new one delivered by Progress-259/11P.  [In the BKV, the condensate coming from the BKO purification column unit (which removes harmful mineral and organic contaminants) is treated with salts for taste and silver ions for preservation.  It then flows to the KPV potable water container.  Expected BKV service life is at least 450 liters throughput, after first charging.]

FE/SO Ed Lu, with part-time support by Yuri, completed a major IFM (in-flight maintenance) on the TVIS (treadmill with vibration isolation and stabilization).  [Based on engineers’ evaluation of its usage to date, the treadmill needs to have its main roller bearings replaced.  Today, Ed successfully replaced the ten centermost bearing assemblies on the left side of the TVIS internal truss.  He also removed the ten bearings on the right side preparatory to tomorrow’s installation of the new ones.]

Malenchenko set up and configured the payload for the Russian geophysical GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (“relaxation”) payload and conducted a calibration.  The hardware was subsequently torn down and re-stowed.  [Relaksatsiya deals with the study of the chemoluminescent chemical reactions and atmospheric light phenomena that occur during high-velocity interaction between the exhaust products from space vehicles and the atmosphere at orbital altitude and during the entry of space vehicles into the Earth’s upper atmosphere.  After reconfiguring the payload laptop 3 for the activity, Yuri unstowed five payload kits and installed the ultraviolet (UV) camera with spectrometer unit at Service Module (SM) window #9.  At 7:00am EDT, he conducted the Fialka (“violet”) experiment which uses the (known) spectra of the Moon and stars for payload calibration.  For the proper pointing, station attitude, still in XPOP, was commanded to Hold from 7:00am-7:15am EDT.]

After familiarizing himself with the PFMI (Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation) experiment, Ed Lu set up its hardware in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), in preparation for its upcoming operations.  After MSG activation, he installed the PFMI thermal chamber, cameras and other data collection devices in the large, sealed MSG work area and later took documentary photography of the set-up.  SAMS (Space Acceleration Measurement System), already installed in the work volume, had to be reconfigured to support PFMI after its troubleshooting later this week.  [PFMI, run last in November ’02 by Peggy Whitson (when the MSG failed), observes bubble dynamics in materials that are being processed similar to industrial methods, e.g., in turbine blade manufacturing.  As opposed to Earth, where such bubbles in molten metals tend to rise to the surface and disappear, in zero-G they often do not disappear but get trapped in the final metal or crystal sample, creating porosity defects which diminish the materials strength and usefulness.  To study how they interact and move, PFMI melts samples of a transparent modeling material, succinonitrile and succonitrile water mixtures, at temperatures not exceeding 135 degC.  The melting and subsequent directional resolidification in a cold zone are observed in real time with two cameras by investigators, who, in true telescience manner, can then change conditions from the ground].

The CDR performed periodic air sampling in the station, first using the standard Russian AK-1M sampler device in the SM and FGB.  Then, he tested the SM for Freon (coolant used in the SKV air conditioner) with the AK-1M-F.  Later, testing for CO (carbon monoxide) levels, he collected SM air samples with the IPD Draeger tubes sampler.
Before sleep time, Yuri will set up the test equipment for tomorrow’s periodic Russian MO-10 “Hematokrit” testing. [MO-10 measures the hematocrit (red blood cell mass) value of the blood (as a well-known phenomenon of space flight, red blood cell mass {normal range: 30-45%} tends to go down over time).]

The CDR performed the regular daily routine tasks of SOZh life support system maintenance, and the SO did the inventory management system (IMS) delta file preparation.

Both crewmembers worked out in their daily 2.5-h program of physical exercise, on the RED expander and VELO ergometer with load trainer.

The Russian air conditioner SKV-1 is now running again.  Humidity levels and condensate recovery on board are currently under investigation by ECLSS engineers from both sides.  [When the SKV-1 failed last Friday due to low temperature at the Freon loop inlet (which happens when humidity/ppH2O is very low, i.e., below 9.5 mmHg) and humidity in the station atmosphere was expected to increase, the Airlock (A./L) heat exchanger was bypassed with a jumper hose to prevent condensation on the cold unit.  But the expected increase in ppH2O has not evidenced itself, despite the two crewmembers’ consumption of about 16 lbs water to date (4 lbs per day per crewperson) since then.  U.S. segment (USOS) humidity was 9.2 mmHg this morning, and the USOS has not been collecting any water (normally: 2.4-2.5 liters/day).  The phenomenon is under investigation (one possibility: humidity residing in absorbent structural components).]

According to MCC-M, the KOB pump panel 2 is still failed.  Both pumps (KOB-1 & KOB-2) have now been activated via pump panel 1.  [Cause of failure: a software problem in one of the panel’s BIT (built-in test) sets.  With only limited telemetry available on the ground, TsUP engineers wanted to test the change to a backup panel 1 BIT set on the ground first.  For the activation of both KOB channels and, subsequently, the SRV air conditioner, the “Survival Mode” transition commands were inhibited since they are not required (only if both panels fail).]

The station’s cabin atmosphere continues to be refreshed with gaseous oxygen (O2) from Progress 10P O2 tanks as long as its supply lasts (originally 50 kg/110 lbs), whenever O2 partial pressure (ppO2) decreases to 160 mmHg.  Afterwards, O2 repress will also be performed from Progress 11P.  A refresh was not required today.  [The Elektron oxygen generator is off, to conserve its service life.  The repress valve cycling, by the crew, relies on the U.S. MCA (major constituents analyzer) or CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) instruments to measure the 10mmHg pressure difference.]

Yuri Malenchenko’s and Ekaterina Dmitrieva’s wedding was held yesterday as part of the regular Ku-band video PFC (private family conference) from JSC.  The ceremony was traditional and well executed.  Bride, groom, and wedding coordinator appeared very pleased and thanked NASA for excellent crew support.

Today’s CEO (crew earth observation) targets, no longer limited in the current LVLH attitude and including the targets of the Lewis & Clark 200-year memorial locations, were Congo-Zimbabwe Biomass Burning (numerous fires: any large fires with high smoke plumes, or fires with cumulus clouds developed on them, were of particular interest.  For a trigonometric test of plume height, two images taken of the same smoke plume from different angles were requested [some ground feature(s) need to be visible]), Toshka Lakes, Egypt (pointing left and right of track), Valley of the Kings, Egypt (pointing a touch left on the far side of the Nile where the Nile valley narrows), Statue of Zeus at Olympia (looking left near the west coast of the Peloponnes, in the largest valley), Athens, Greece (nadir pass), Istanbul, Turkey (nadir pass), Puerto Rico (detailed mapping swath requested.  Looking immediately right [track passed over the west point of the island]), and Berlin, Germany (city center just left of track).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:35pm EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered Off.  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Manual Mode 5/3).  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is Off.  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating.  MCA (major constituents analyzer) is operating.  BMP Harmful Impurities unit: absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is On; SKV-2 is Off.
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 25.8; ppO2 (mmHg) — data invalid; ppCO2 (mmHg) — data invalid.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 741; temperature (deg C) — 19.5.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744; temperature (deg C) — 22.7.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 738.16; temperature (deg C) — 23.3 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 4.6.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 740.27; temperature (deg C) — 23.0; ppO2 (mmHg) — 164.6; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 2.8.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):  Pressure (mmHg) — 740.37; temperature (deg C) — 26.5; shell heater temp (deg C) — 23.5, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.4
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 16.8.

(n/a = data not available)

Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 3646 kg (8038 lb) as of 7/31  [SM(774) + FGB(2872) + Progress M(0) +Progress M-1(0)].  (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Autotrack (solar tracking with 45 deg bias for drag reduction).
  • SM batteries:  Battery #5 is off line(Capacity Restoration mode, ROM); all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  Batteries #1and #3 showing degraded capacity. 
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #1 is off line (Capacity Restoration mode, ROM); battery #4 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (4) 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-1 is operating; INT-2 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-2 MDM is Off; PL-1 MDM is Operational.
  • APS-1 (automated payload switch #1) and APS-2 are both On.
  • SM Terminal Computer (TVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.

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:

  • XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane = “sun-fixed” [yaw: 0.5 deg, pitch: -9.0 deg., roll: 0 deg]), with CMG TA (thruster assist).Management.
  • Solar Beta angle:  18.4 deg (magnitude increasing).

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-2 is prime).
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • HCOR (high-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 based at MBS PDGF #1 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, 3:47am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 384.4 km
  • Apogee — 389.8 km
  • Perigee — 379.0 km
  • Period — 92.24 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008004
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.61
  • Solar Beta Angle — 18.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 100 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 26961
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.