Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 Aug 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
August 14, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 Aug 2003

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

CDR Yuri Malenchenko’s work today was dominated by the disassembly and removal of the SUDN Kurs-A (motion control & navigation system’s active rendezvous & approach radar) from the 6S/Soyuz TMA-2, a five-hour task.  These valuable components will be returned to Earth (when the Shuttle flies again) and recycled.

FE/SO Ed Lu completed an inspection of the HRF PC (Human Research Facility computer) whose lower slot for PCMCIA (portable computer memory card international adapter) cards has a problem with card insertion.  Several pins were found to be bent out of alignment (~9 deg).  Remedial action under study.

After an in-depth search yesterday, Ed Lu located the missing parallel-port cable for the PFMI (Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation) payload.  Today, a systems checkout was conducted on its hardware, but the cable was found too late to conduct this week’s planned PFMI experiment run.  It is being rescheduled for next week.

Malenchenko finished the three-day liquid waste transfer to the empty 10P/Progress-247 Rodnik water storage tanks (BV1 & BV2).  Today’s operation transferred stored urine from the remaining 4 EDV-U containers into tank BV2, bringing total transferred EDVs to 17.  The equipment remains in place until one additional EDV-U can be emptied into BV2.  [Each of the two spherical Rodnik tanks consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic, which is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the bladder.]

To keep track of onboard water supplies, Yuri performed another weekly inventory audit of the available CWCs (contingency water containers) and their contents.  [Last time done: 8/8.]

In preparation for tomorrow’s EMU (extravehicular mobility unit) activities in the Joint Airlock (A/L), Ed Lu removed the CCAA (common cabin air assembly) heat exchanger jumper hose, monitored the ground-commanded activation of the A/L CCAA air conditioner, and reconfigured the IMV (intermodular ventilation) air duct.  Ed also terminated the recharge of EMU batteries #2029 and #2030 started yesterday, which will be required for the EMU troubleshooting.  [The scheduled troubleshooting of EMU #3013 will require about 5 hrs. crewtime for Ed and 3 hrs. for Yuri.]

With two of the three US spacesuits on board under investigation for coolant flow anomalies, there is currently no EMU EVA capability on board for the next two-three weeks.  MCC-Moscow was advised to ensure readiness of Russian Orlan suits in the unlikely event that a contingency spacewalk should become necessary.

Yesterday’s test of on-board audio/video recording was successful.  The ground received an excellent downlink of video with simultaneously recorded audio.  Today Ed Lu completed part 2 of the test, trying out an alternate configuration option.  [The activity is aimed at finding out if the crew can record taped video and taped audio at the same time.  Up to now, the communications configuration was only able to downlink taped video with live narration (“voice over”).]

Yesterday’s O-OHA (on-orbit hearing assessment) tests for both crewmembers successfully recorded the desired data, to be downlinked later this week for analysis.  [The periodic hearing test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, Bose ANC headsets and the SLM (sound level meter).]

Ed Lu conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities), while Yuri prepared the daily IMS delta file for updating the inventory management system’s database.

Both crewmembers completed their daily 2.5-h program of physical exercise (aerobic & anaerobic) on TVIS treadmill, CEVIS bike, RED expander and on the Russian VELO cycle ergometer with load trainer.

Ed and Yuri today also had their weekly conference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Kent Rominger).

One of the two portable microphones (P-MICs) on board has developed a problem.  The issue is being worked.  [There may not be a spare on board]. 

Troubleshooting of the SAMS (Space Acceleration Measurement System) has been narrowed down to its computer, the ICU (interface control unit), as potential failure source.  Current plan is to replace it with a spare laptop.

The station’s cabin atmosphere is periodically refreshed with gaseous oxygen (O2) from Progress 10P O2 tanks (not required today).  However, O2 consumption is turning out to be less than expected, and half of the original 50 kg stored oxygen is still available.  This could mean that 10P will have some O2 remaining when it is separated in time for arrival of 12P in two weeks.  After that, O2 repress will also be performed from Progress 11P, probably also not to depletion.  [The Elektron oxygen generator continues to be 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.]

MCC-H ballistics experts continue to follow the predicted conjunction with an upper stage of a Chinese Long March 4B (CZ-4B) vehicle launched 10/27/02 (object #27551).  TCA (time of closest approach) remains unchanged: tonight at 7:41pm EDT.  Radial miss distance is predicted at 22.8 km, and tracking data have remained steady.  No maneuver is required.

The US solar arrays are currently in Autotrack, following the sun but biased 45 deg off the optimal pointing angle to reduce orbital drag.  When in LVLH XVV attitude (local vertical local horizontal/x-axis in velocity vector), they are placed in dual- or tri-angle mode, in which they face the sun at the beginning of insolation (local “day”) and rotate until nearly eclipse (local “night”), during which they stay horizontal.  A bonus in this mode is that if a BGA (beta gimbal assembly) trips or stalls, the arrays are facing “up” and will still generate a fair amount of power.  [The US solar arrays are the largest photovoltaic cell panels (at 115 fee span) ever deployed in space.  Each array consists of 32,800 solar cells wired in 82 parallel strings so that damage to a few cells does not significantly reduce power production (in fact, one string on the 2B wing is failed without impacting operations).  Work continues on the ground on the additional arrays to be brought up on and subsequent to Mission 12A.  Earlier this year, an array set was unfolded on the ground in order to reduce its stored “stickiness”, so that it will unfold smoothly when deployed on orbit.]

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 St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John Islands, Caribbean (nadir pass.  Coral reef sites for the map being compiled of world reefs), Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Babylon/Baghdad at nadir), Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (nadir pass), Western Mediterranean Aerosol (haze reported in the westernmost Med at Gibraltar and other coastal cities.  Source may be Saharan dust.  Pointing left of track as ISS crossed the Atlas Mts on an ascending pass), Berlin, Germany (city center lay just north [left] of track), Detroit, Michigan (nadir pass), Barcelona, Spain (nadir pass), Cascade Locks (LEWIS & CLARK SITE: This site is an island in the Columbia River nearly opposite the towns of Cascade Locks and Bonneville, OR.  It lies at the head of the famous falls known as the Cascades of the Columbia.  On the night of October 30, 1805, the explorers write, “the water of this great river {is} compressed within the space of 150 paces… water passing with great velocity … boiling in a horrible manner, with a fall of about 20 feet), The Dalles (LEWIS & CLARK SITE: Crew was to try mapping the lower Columbia River.  Of particular interest is the area known as The Dalles, a great southward arc in the river before it cuts through the Cascade Range), and Pomeroy, WA (LEWIS & CLARK SITE:  On their return eastward, the explorers decide to go overland in order to avoid battling upstream against the strong Snake River.  Pointing 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 2:00pm 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) — 26.5; ppO2 (mmHg) — data invalid; ppCO2 (mmHg) — data invalid.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 741; temperature (deg C) — 20.0.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744; temperature (deg C) — 22.7.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 738.8; temperature (deg C) — 23.9 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — 165.1; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.6.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 740.67 temperature (deg C) — 23.4; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):  Pressure (mmHg) — 740.78; temperature (deg C) — 24.5; shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.3, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.9
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 13.6.

(n/a = data not available)

Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 3616 kg (8038 lb) as of 8/7  [SM(774) + FGB(2842) + 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); battery #7 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  Batteries #1and #3 showing degraded capacity. 
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #1 is off line (Capacity Restoration mode, ROM); 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-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).
  • Solar Beta angle:  28.8 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, 4:53am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 384.1 km
  • Apogee — 389.6 km
  • Perigee — 378.7 km
  • Period — 92.24 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008098
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.61
  • Solar Beta Angle — 28.8 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 75 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 27009
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.