Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 Jul 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
July 13, 2003
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 Jul 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously.  Second rest day of this weekend for the crew.  Ahead: Week 11 of Increment 7.

CDR Yuri Malenchenko collected the weekly data readings of the Service Module (SM)’s toilet flush counter readings (with inspection of the SP urine collection and pretreat assembly) and SVO water supply status counter readings, both for calldown to MCC-M/TsUP.

Malenchenko also conducted the periodic inspection of the Elektron oxygen generator’s VM gas/liquid system for obstructing air bubbles that may linger after IFMs (in-flight maintenances).

The CDR then performed the daily routine maintenance on the SOZh life support system which comprises the water supply equipment, food supply subsystem (SOP), and sanitary hygiene equipment (SGO).  [Maintenance generally consists of inspection of fluid lines/connections and filter replacement.]

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

Yuri attended to his regular daily checkup of his BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment which investigates growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the SM’s Lada-2 greenhouse.

Both crewmembers worked out in their daily 2.5-h program of physical exercise, on TVIS treadmill and RED expander.

The crew had their the weekly PFCs (private family conferences), via S-band/audio.

At 5:45am EDT, Ku-band comm entered a 2hr 15min period of outage when carrier satellites were switched from the old AMC-2 to the new AMC-9 satellite.  This affected ISS Ku-band return link, video, payload data, and OCA.   [The hybrid C-/Ku-band satellite AMC-9, operated by SES Americom, was launched on an ILS Proton rocket on June 7, 2003, from Baikonur for Alcatel Space and controlled into its present position by CNES/France, replacing  AMC-2, launched in January 1997, at 85 deg wL over the continental US (CONUS).]

If MCC-Houston should have to be evacuated due to tropical storm/hurricane Claudette early next week, 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.  As of now (noon 7/13), landfall of Claudette, which may be gathering strength over the Gulf to become a “minimal” hurricane, is expected some time on Tuesday, still in the vicinity of Brownsville, TX.]

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 Khartoum, Sudan (nadir pass), Casablanca, Morocco (nadir pass), Montana Box (LEWIS & CLARK SITES: A series of sites along the Missouri River for about 60 secs of flight time.  Looking a touch left for the river as ISS entered the “box”, then nadir, then following the river left of track.  A view looking back obliquely and covering the whole box was helpful in identifying very detailed views), Fort Mandan, ND (LEWIS & CLARK SITE: The expedition spent the winter of 1804-5 here, and Sacagawea and her husband joined the group.  The site is near the present town of Stanton.  Nadir pass for a detailed view to complement the broad views already acquired: looking on the south side of the large reservoir, Lake Sacagawea. Stanton is on the west bank of the Missouri near where the river turns sharply from south to east), Fort Manuel, SD (LEWIS & CLARK SITE: Location of Missouri Fur Company post where Sacagawea died December 20, 1812.  Looking just right of track on the north-south sector of the river.  Mapping swaths along the river are a successful technique for acquiring these detailed sites), Chicago, Illinois (looking for the Loop just left of track), The Dalles (LEWIS & CLARK SITE: To complement an excellent contextual view, the crew was asked to shoot a detailed view of this site [at nadir], which lies where the Columbia River enters the gorge through the Cascade Mts.), Salt Lake City, Utah (nadir pass), Dallas, Texas (looking left for an oblique view.  Then a near-nadir pass over Houston [slightly left through Claudette’s cloud bands]), T/S Claudette, Gulf of Mexico (Dynamic event.  Center of what is predicted to be a minimal hurricane is forecast to be located 26N 93W, just right of track, storm heading west to Brownsville), and Lower Amazon River Basin (looking nadir and right of track for the shores and islands of the vast Amazon estuary.  Both change at a rate measurable in the life of the space program, including the movement of entire islands downstream by hundreds of meters in a few years).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

7/11 crew request for information on a CEO target site:  Taumatawhakatangihangaoauauotameteaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, New Zealand.  (Don’t try your spell checker on this.)

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 8:11am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 386.5 km
  • Apogee — 392.0 km
  • Perigee  381.0 km
  • Period — 92.28 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008139
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 60 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 26511
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.