Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 Nov 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
November 14, 2003
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 Nov 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.

Today’s crew timeline was dominated by the removal and replacement (R&R) of 10 DS-7A smoke detectors of the “Signal-VM” fire detection system in the Russian segment (RS).  During the R&R a false fire alarm went off, which required subsequent “clean-up” and restoration activities by the ground in both segments. [The R&R was necessarily accompanied by system deactivations/reactivations (such as the Elektron O2 generator and the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry system’s VD-SU control system mode) from the ground plus local demating/remating of the telemetry (TMI) signal connectors by the crew.  The new DS-7As were transferred from their FGB stowage, and the old units prepared and stowed for disposal.  The false fire alarm was set off when the newly installed onboard software did not respond properly to inhibit commands from TsUP/Moscow since expected commensurate changes in the algorithm apparently were not incorporated in the new software version.]

CDR Michael Foale conducted an inventory audit of onboard office supplies, to help determine manifesting requirements of such supplies on Progress 13P.  [The audit consisted of three parts: (1) identification of selected office supplies (e.g., flight pens, rubber gloves, gray tape, printer cartridges) and their quantities; (2) consolidation of two (of three) destowed “printer pantry” containers as a get-ahead for an upcoming rack consolidation; (3) crew judgment on whether office supply quantities currently manifested on 13P are sufficient to support both Increment 8 and Increment 9 prior to 14P arrival.]

Mike Foale powered up the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) for troubleshooting its ECB (experiment control board), by taking resistance and continuity readings with the “Pilobolus” scopemeter.  Afterwards, MSG was powered down again.  [After the activation, MSG ESEMs (exchangeable standard electronic modules) were turned on by the ground, followed by visual inspection and facility activation by the crew prior to conducting the payload ops.  The objective was to determine why the ECB works intermittently when enabled via ground commanding.  Foale tested the resistors in the ECB board to see if they are performing properly, with the MSG laptop computer (MLC) completely booted up to ensure that it was ready to capture the facility Health & Status data.]

On the SAMS ICU (space acceleration measurement system  interim control unit), Mike replaced the suspected battery #6131 with a lithium-ion battery (#6084) taken from the SSC7 laptop.  A fresh battery (#1037) from stowage was installed in the SSC7 instead.

Kaleri conducted the weekly 15-min. IMS (inventory management system) tagup with IMS specialists at MCC-M, today discussing open issues concerning identification and location of some items not returned on Soyuz TMA-2/6S and other IMS aspects.

CDR Foale performed a “zero” calibration procedure of the CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) on both units, required periodically to re-set the gas analyzer’s sensors to the “zero” value.  He then took sensor readings for call-down of O2, CO, HCl, and HCN partial pressures, plus battery status for both units.

FE Alexander Kaleri completed the changeout of the RED (resistive exercise device) canisters, which replaced cans #1009 & #1010 with #1001 & #1003.  Later in the day, after the daily exercise program, Mike Foale conducted the monthly inspection of the RED, which involves re-tightening of the bolts as required.  On a bi-monthly schedule, the squat harness of the machine, with canister cords and accessory straps, is also part of the periodic inspections.

Instructions were uplinked for the crew for a special inspection of the TVIS treadmill prior to its use today.  The task, related to some engineering concern regarding the operations of the TVIS flywheel case foot knob, was supported by the ground for advising on continuation of the daily exercise protocol or temporary stand-down from it, depending on the TVIS condition.  As it turned out, the TVIS checked out OK, and the crew was given the Go to continue regular exercise.

FE Kaleri’s schedule today called for setting up, configuring, and conducting Part 1 of the Russian MBI-8 “Profilaktika” (preventive health maintenance) experiment.  Since the Russian VELO cycle ergometer is currently broken (IBMP/Moscow is working the issue, with actual troubleshooting expected next week), Kaleri used the U.S. TVIS treadmill for conducting the test sequence. [Today’s MBI-8 test, under loads, involves four types of exercise, each one consisting of a series of 15 motions repeated twice.  Total test duration:13 minutes.  The test is similar to the MedOps MO-3 test, except that it uses the TEEM-100M gas analyzer during exercise operations, blood lactate determination and subjective load assessment.  The experiment is supported by the payload laptop 3, with Aerograph and Kardiokassetta-2000 software residing on its hard disk drive.]

Sasha Kaleri completed deployment of the “Pille-MKS” radiation dosimeter and its control panel in the SM, with its ten sensors placed at various locations (port cabin window, starboard cabin window, ASU toilet facility, control panel, etc.).  Pille measurements were downloaded at ~9:15am EST via S-band.  A tagup with a TsUP specialist via VHF supported the activity.

The FE conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities) and updated the IMS “delta” file for updating the inventory databases.

The crew is regularly supporting the Renal Stone prevention experiment by taking the test medication (either potassium citrate or placebo tablets) at dinnertime until the next sample collection phase.

At 10:40am EST, the crew downlinked two messages of greetings and congratulations from the ISS via S- and Ku-band for the opening of a National Air and Space Museum (NASM) exhibit at Dulles International Airport and for the Centennial of Flight celebrations by NASA in December.

Transfer of stowage equipment to the areas in back of the Lab ZSR (zero-G storage racks) yesterday has proceeded well, but by the end of the allotted time only about two thirds of what was planned was completed. [Two additional hours will be scheduled next week to complete unblocking the five fire access ports, of which two are currently free (defined to allow insertion of either the CSA-CP or the CDM carbon dioxide monitor).]

As a late-added task, Foale was requested to inspect PBA (portable breathing apparatus) #1012 in a Node starboard locker, which, from on-orbit images, still has a locking pin in place.  As this defeats the functionality of the PBA bottle, Mike was to remove the pin, using tools if required.  He also was to extend the inspection to the other two PBAs (in the Lab) and pull their pins if still in place.

At MCC-H, a software change in ground control computers was implemented to correct a software glitch that in the past occasionally caused loss of command and telemetry function.  The system has now operated on it OK since last Monday (11/10).

A questionnaire was uplinked for the crew to record, over time, their perceptions of light flashes (anomalous phosphenes) during orbital operations. [Astronauts have observed anomalous phosphenes as “light flashes” as far back as the first space missions.   The light flashes, seen particularly with closed eyes, are sudden, unexpected and short perceptions of light in any shape, color or characteristic that can appear in the visual field while in space.  The study will involve an anticipated sample of approximately 50 ISS crewmembers who have consented to it.  The information expected to be obtained from the questionnaire will be highly valuable in the short and long-term monitoring and understanding of the effects of space on human brain functions as well as in the design and planning of new experiments in the ISS.]

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, wereAngolan Biomass Burning (looking left towards the Angolan coast in this sector where aerosols most commonly exit the subcontinent.  Good offshore flow is transporting the aerosols.  Oblique views, preferably showing the margin of any aerosol mass, are requested),Cape Town, South Africa(nadir pass.  Although the mountains behind the city are protected from development, urban sprawl has expanded to surround Table Mountain and its spurs.  The city has developed furthest eastward onto the flat country),High Central Andean Glaciers(looking for any near-nadir ice-capped volcanoes on the high Andean plateau.  There are hundreds of volcanoes in Peru.  Measurements of ice pack area are being undertaken by many researchers),Palmerston Island (the only true atoll in the Southern Cooks Islands, Palmerston is seven miles across.  The atoll is mainly awash but the surface rises locally to make six small, tree covered islands),Melbourne, Australia(lighting conditions are improving for photography over Australia. Nadir pass over this city that lies at the head of Port Philip Bay), andPatagonian Glaciers(the southern part of the site remains clear.  Crew was asked to shoot smaller glacier tongues).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:24pm EST).

Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) and Thermal Control (TCS):
Elektron O2 generator is powered On, 18A.  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 On; SKV-2 is Off.
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 26.7; ppO2 (mmHg) — 157.8; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.9.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 20.0.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 756; temperature (deg C) — 23.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 745.16; temperature (deg C) — 24.6 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 746.94; temperature (deg C) — 24.3; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 747.04; temperature (deg C) — 28.4; shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.0, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.6
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 11.0

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Autotrack mode (suntracking). 
  • SM batteries:  Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is still in slot #8 for troubleshooting; all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode (batteries #1 and #3 are degraded).  
  • FGB batteries:  Batteries #1 is off; 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-2 MDM is prime, C&C-1 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): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (all lanes reintegrated 11/5).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational; string #3 dropped out 10/22.

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available:3734 kg (8232 lb) as of 11/6 [SM(755) + FGB(2627) + 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 (y-axis in velocity vector, i.e. flying “sidewise”) [yaw: -90 deg, pitch: -8.9 deg., roll: 1.8 deg]), with CMG 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-2 is prime, IAC-1 is suspect).
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • HCOR (high-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 based at MBS PDGF #2/LEE A, 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 yesterday afternoon, 3:57pm EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 376.1 km
  • Apogee — 380.4 km
  • Perigee — 371.8 km
  • Period — 92.1 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006425
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.64
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 28424
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.