Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 Jul 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
July 12, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 Jul 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously.   First crew rest day of this weekend.

As generally on Saturdays, Commander Yuri Malenchenko and Flight Engineer/Science Officer Ed Lu performed the weekly 3-hr. station cleaning.  [This includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, wet cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table and other surfaces with “Fungistat” disinfectant and cleaning fan screens to avoid temperature rises.]
Malenchenko attended to the daily routine maintenance of the SM SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities), while Ed Lu prepared the daily IMS delta file for automatic export/import to update the database.

Both crewmembers completed their daily physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill and RED resistive expander.

Yuri and Ed conducted the weekly planning conference with the ground, discussing next week’s “Look-Ahead Plan” (regularly prepared jointly by MCC-H and MCC-M planners), via S-band/audio.  

The crew also had their regular weekly teleconference ISS Program Management, via S-band/audio.

Overnight, at 1:36am EDT, the station maneuvered back to sun-oriented XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) attitude, after it had been in LVLH +YVV/”Barbecue” mode for six orbits for data collection.  At 2:00am, both P6 arrays were placed back in “directed” (non-suntracking) position, optimized for drag reduction.  [Solar array wing (SAW) 2B was fixed at 279 deg, 4B at 81 deg, were they produce 12+ kW through the end of next week.  The “sun slicer” drag reduction scheme has worked remarkably well to date, as demonstrated by significantly reduced daily orbit decay.]

Should the evacuation of MCC-Houston become necessary early next week due to tropical storm/hurricane Claudette, ISS flight control would be handed over to the BCC (Backup Control Center) at HSG (Houston Support Group) in Moscow, located at TsUP in Korolev.   [This has happened before, when MCC-H was shut down last year (on 10/2 at 4:00am EDT) during the Hurricane Lili contingency.  There also have been a number of BCC mode sim runs.  A multi-page list of onboard systems configurations, configuration changes and other required activities in such an event has been uplinked to the crew.  Steps will be taken to minimize necessary onboard activities in the event of evacuation; others will be performed by preloaded time-tag commands.  Claudette at this time (Saturday afternoon) is still 410 mi. off the Texas coast, SE of Brownsville.]

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Seven — 10th):
This week had very few payload activities, but EarthKAM has proved very successful.

GASMAP:   Next 30-day health check is planned for 7/14 (Monday).
Human Research Facility/Workstation (HRF WS):   Continuing.

Ultrasound (USND):  Next Ultrasound session is planned for mid-September.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI):  Waiting to begin operations.

Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS):  SAMS is nominal and currently analyzing data in support of general characterization of the ISS acceleration environment.

Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS):  MAMS is nominal and currently analyzing data in support of general characterization of the ISS acceleration environment.

Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES):   PCG-STES continues to operate nominally.

Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions (InSPACE):   Current test matrix is complete.

Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE):  In progress.  Deployed outside. Nominal and collecting data.

Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM):  A total of 819 images were captured; 86 images with the 50mm lens and 733 images with the 180mm lens while EarthKAM was operational.  Even with the small interruption, the mission went very smoothly.  This summer mission was an opportune time to provide hands-on instruction to many teachers who are looking to include EarthKAM operations in their classrooms this fall.  Ten schools were also involved in requesting images during this period and the students exhibited an overwhelming interest.  A few of the images gathered were uplinked to the crew for their viewing pleasure.

Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2):  Operations for CSLM-2 will begin next week. The ground team is excited about the start of operations.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO):  The ground has completed the lesson plan for the Pu’ili Hawaiian flute activity and plans to uplink it for crew review soon followed by a crew conference to be scheduled at a later date to discuss any outstanding issues with the Pu’ili activity.

Crew Earth Observation (CEO):  Lewis &Clark images are being well received at conferences and are drawing lots of hits on the our website.  Although you will lose light over these targets for the next few weeks, we will continue to refine our location and description information for next time.  Most of the new CEO images were taken with the 400 or 800mm lenses.  While this technique captures incredible detail of targets, the crew was reminded that this detail usually exceeds that of the maps available of most of the world.  It was recommended that the crew take context views of the areas either as high obliques as they approach or depart, or take additional views with the shorter lenses to include landmarks and features that are easily located.  Otherwise some of the location of some images may never be precisely determined.
Today’s CEO 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 Algiers, Algeria (nadir pass), Great Falls, MT (LEWIS & CLARK SITE:  The Missouri River drops more than 400 feet in ten miles here.  The explorers noted the value of this site for hydro-power generation.  Now the Ryan Dam occupies the site.  The site lies on the river, at the city of Great Falls, where the highway crosses the river, all near nadir a touch right of track), Pompey’s Pillar, MT (LEWIS & CLARK SITE: Nadir pass.  The site lies in the Yellowstone River valley where the river flows east northeastward from the city of Billings. Pompey’s Pillar is a 200 foot-high rock formation on the south bank of the river near the point where Interstate Highway 94 converges to within half a mile of the river and then runs parallel with it.  Captain Clark’s dated signature is engraved in the rock), Monterrey, Mexico (nadir pass), Laysan Atoll, Hawaiian chain (detailed views of coral reefs were requested), Maro Atoll, Hawaiian chain (nadir pass.  Detailed views of coral reefs requested), and Lake Poopo (looking left to document water levels in this high Andean lake.  This is one of the best proxies for multi-year rainfall in this arid region close to the source of the El Nino phenomenon).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this noon, 12:13pm EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 386.5 km
  • Apogee — 391.9 km
  • Perigee — 381.0 km
  • Period — 92.28 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008067
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 100 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 26498
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.