Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 Sep 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
September 13, 2003
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 Sep 2003

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

As regularly on Saturdays, the crew conducted the weekly 3-hr. station cleaning.

CDR Yuri Malenchenko completed the daily routine maintenance of the Service Module’s (SM) SOZh life support system, while FE/SO Ed Lu prepared the daily IMS (inventory management system) “delta” file for automatic export/import to update the databases.

The crew had their the weekly planning conference with the ground via S-band/audio to discuss next week’s “Look-Ahead Plan” (regularly prepared jointly by MCC-H and MCC-M planners and uplinked ahead of time). 

The crew also conducted their weekly teleconference with the ISS Flight Director at MCC-H.

Ed Lu performed the regular once-a-week maintenance reboot of the operational PCS (portable computer system) laptops in the station.

Both crewmembers worked out on the TVIS treadmill, RED resistive exercise, and on the Russian VELO cycle ergometer with load trainer. completing their daily physical exercise program.

For today’s RED maintenance, Ed was uplinked a list of questions to assist in the decision to continue exercising on the currently installed Flexpack canisters #1011 and #1012 until the IFM (in-flight maintenance) planned for Monday (9/15), or to replace #1012 today with the older #1009.  [After installing the newly arrived canisters #1011/#1012 yesterday, Ed Lu reported getting a “ratchety” feeling.  He was given the Go to replace #1012 today with #1009 if he remains concerned about the can’s functionality.]

During a recent inventory of the FGB by Malenchenko, two ZPL-1M filter cartridges of the SM’s harmful impurities removal unit (BMP) were not found.  The search for the two massive (16 kg) foot-high units was added to Yuri’s discretionary task list as a new item for today.

On Ed Lu’s “job jar” task list, the ground added further unloading of Progress-248/12P and cargo transfer.

At 4:40 am EDT yesterday morning, the uplink of the S/G-1 & -2 (Space-to-Ground) voice connection on S-band started to degrade and failed entirely at 5:16 am.  It remained down until 6:15am, at which time a manual bypass patch had been installed on the ground.  Later, a loose multi-pin connector was found as failure cause.  [During the troubleshooting, Flight Control communicated with the crew via VHF through Russian ground sites (RGS).]

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Seven — 19th):

GASMAP:  Ed Lu was thanked for another successful health check.  The unit is maintaining an excellent level of vacuum, and all components are in good shape.

Human Research Facility/Workstation (HRF WS):   Continuing.

Ultrasound (USND):  Next Ultrasound session is planned for 9/23.

Hand Posture Analyzer (HPA):  The time has finally come for HPA to be used in flight.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI):   Looking forward to next week’s sessions.

Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS):  SAMS is operating nominally since being brought back on line.  Thanks for rebooting the SAMS ICU last Wednesday (9/10) and helping recover SAMS operations.

Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS):  MAMS continues to measure the quasi-steady acceleration environment using the OSS sensor.  The HiRAP sensor has been activated and will assist SAMS in supporting PFMI operations next week.

Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES):  Behaving nominally, although the inlet/outlet temperatures are about 3 deg C more that we have seen in the past. Presents no problem.

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.

Cellular Biotechnology Support Systems (CBOSS):  CBOSS-FDI is waiting for being scheduled for investigation.

Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM):  Activities are completed for Increment 7.

Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2):  Activities have been concluded for this Expedition.

Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA):  CGBA is maintaining a nominal temperature of 20°C.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO):  EPO is looking forward to additional activities.

Crew Earth Observation (CEO):  This weekend, the crew’s stunning photo of the dangerous, smoldering Merapi Volcano on the island of Java will be published on Earth Observatory (address see below).  They were thanked for their initiative in mapping the Zambezi River.  CEO now has their most detailed view ever of Victoria Falls.  This will probably be published in Earth Observatory as well.  Thanks went up also for beautiful views of muddy, red Betsiboka estuary.  Another attempt at the Machu Picchu site carefully mapped the Rio Apurimac, the neighboring valley to the southwest.  Even though the crew nicely mapped much of the west coast of Turkey with beautiful, near-nadir views, they somehow missed the city of Selcuk, site of the Temple of Artemis, but they got the best-ever photo of Nicosia, Cyprus as well as a perfect Damascus.  Even though they used the 400 mm instead of the 180 mm lens, the view more than met the ground’s requirements for this target.  Requests continue to come in from PAO and the media for views of Hurricane Isabel, now Category 5.  The nice image of Fabian was immediately released last week.

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 Congo-Zimbabwe biomass burning (images of fires in southern Congo, Zambia and Mozambique are data points for the ongoing global fire study), Hurricane Isabel (Dynamic event. This is “a big category 5 storm,” the largest in several years in the Atlantic basin.  Looking left as ISS passed just west of the eye), Lower Amazon River Basin (looking right for views of the whole estuary.  The great delta of the Amazon is submerged under the sea surface.  Geologists have just discovered remnants of the earliest parts of this delta on the coast of Senegal [deposited 150 million years old, when South America and Africa were just beginning to separate]), and Western Amazonia (Dynamic event. Sunglint opportunity in this most remote and usually cloudy part of the world.  A mapping swath with 180 mm lens will capture larger areas including a major relict inland delta recently discovered from handheld imagery).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 8:50am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 380.9 km
  • Apogee  384.9 km
  • Perigee — 376.8 km
  • Period — 92.2 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005983
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.62
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 60 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 27480
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.