Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 Dec 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
December 14, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 Dec 2003

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

The crew had an off-duty Sunday, except for some necessary maintenance tasks.

In the morning, FE Alexander Kaleri downlinked TV greetings to Academician A. N. Konovalov of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Academy of Medical Science on the occasion of his 30th professional anniversary.

The FE completed the weekly routine SOZh life support systems maintenance tasks of inspection and collecting SP toilet flush counter and SVO water supply readings in the Service Module (SM) for calldown to TsUP.

Sasha’s SOZh maintenance also included the regular inspection of the air/condensate separator (BRPK).

The oxygen-producing Elektron water electrolysis machine is currently down. [After the primary pump (MNO) failed last night at ~9:08pm EST, the system automatically transitioned to the backup pump (MNR) and kept Elektron in the 19Amp mode. Then, at ~9:49pm, MNR failed also, causing an off-nominal shutdown of the Elektron. The same sequence of events happened a few hours earlier, starting with MNO shutdown Saturday (12/13) at 4:35am, followed by MNR failure at 10:25am. This also happened on 12/9, after which the O2 generator was successfully restarted on 12/10 at 2:14am EST. An Elektron shutdown has no immediate impact since there are about 21 kg (12 days’ worth) of O2 stored in the Progress 12P resupply tank.]

The crew worked out according to their regular daily physical exercise program of 2.5 hrs on the TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser, CEVIS cycle ergometer and VELO bike (with load trainer).

As reported, exercise on TVIS has been approved in the passive mode (stabilizers On) until motorized capability is recovered. [The ground has identified the parts that are necessary to repair the gyroscope’s top & bottom bearings and is working to manifest the necessary parts on Progress 13P. By the time they are delivered, IFM (in-flight maintenance) procedures will have been developed to repair the gyro for full restoration of TVIS operations.]

Working off the Russian task list, Kaleri conducted another brief session of the Russian Uragan earth imaging program, using the Kodak 760 DSC (digital still camera) with 800mm-lens from SM window #9, now available again in LVLH attitude. [Today’s task featured imagery of the Cyprus coastline with Nicosia, the port city of Dertiol in Turkey, the northern slopes of Mount Kazbek and the Kolka glacier in the Caucasus, and the cities of Sofia, Bucharest, Odessa, Nikolaev Kherson and Rostov-on-Don.]

Also on Sasha’s discretionary task list for today was an audit of experiment kits (films and videotapes) for the Diatomeya oceanographic research program.

At JSC, MCC-H network servers are back up after undergoing an upgrade of their firewall software yesterday.

Two opportunities for ham radio passes were identified for today for Australia/New Zealand and Japan and provided to the crew.

All four MT UMAs (Mobile Transporter Umbilical Mating Assemblies) were successfully reset yesterday, and the crew was told to again disconnect the Lab RWS DCP (Robotics Workstation/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable. [On 12/11, while performing standard cleanup from an earlier EXT MDM computer transition, MCC-H controllers noticed that only one of four MT UMA “mate” microswitches indicated “mated”. Concerned that the UMAs may be in “backdrive”, which, although unlikely, could result in a loss of power to the MBS (Mobile Service System) and SSRMS, controllers re-drove the UMAs on 12/12 and successfully re-acquired all four “mate” microswitches. The SSRMS and MBS needed to be powered down for this activity (and back up afterwards), for which the crew had connected the Lab RWS DCP.]

Tomorrow’s crew schedule includes a leak check of the Node starboard hatch. This will involve an Airlock (A/L) depress, for which MCC-H will activate the A/L CCAA (common cabin air assembly) for thermal conditioning. On Tuesday morning, the crew will equalize the pressure and make the A/L accessible again.

Today’s optional CEO (crew earth observation) targets, limited in the current XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Niger River delta (Dynamic event: Unusually clear weather likely to persist. Few images of the delta exist due to equatorial cloud), Navassa Island, Caribbean (400mm-lens advised: looking a touch right for this 3 mile-long island, which is about nine times the size of the Mall in Washington D.C. A 1998 scientific expedition described the island as a unique preserve of Caribbean biodiversity; the following year it became a National Wildlife Refuge), Bahamas (400mm-lens advised: islands, protruding coral reefs, and the shallow submerged coral platform are the subjects of interest. The tidally driven patterns of white shell on the platform are known to change shape through time), Mexico City, Mexico (nadir pass), Washington, D.C. (nadir pass), Tucson, Arizona (nadir pass), Albuquerque, New Mexico (nadir pass), American Samoa, Pacific (pass crossed the center of this series of islands. The islands have been inhabited for at least 3000 years), Jarvis Island, Pacific (Jarvis is completely surrounded by a coral reef), Necker Island, Hawaiian chain (looking a touch right. [Immediately prior to this site the crew could see French Frigate Shoals at nadir, one of the most dramatic and intricate reefs seen from space; the shoals are well photographed and have been removed from CEO’s target list]), and Wake Island (nadir pass over this historic 5 mile-long reef-enclosed lagoon, based on the crater of a submerged volcano).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:02am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 371.5 km
  • Apogee — 375.6 km
  • Perigee — 367.5 km
  • Period — 92.0 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006045
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.65
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 60 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 28919
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.