Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 Nov 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
November 16, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 Nov 2003

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

After wakeup (1:00am EST), morning chores and breakfast, CDR/SO Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri completed the standard 3-hr. station cleaning, a regular Saturday task.

Kaleri conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities).

The crew worked out according to their regular daily physical exercise program of 2.5 hrs on TVIS treadmill (aerobic), RED exerciser (anaerobic) and CEVIS bike.  Since the Russian VELO is currently down, Sasha too is using the TVIS for his exercising.

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

Mike Foale called down the O2 partial pressure of the cabin air.  [“Ad hoc” O2 data are collected daily with the U.S. CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) for trending analyses by the ground.]

Another session with the biomedical “Pulse” experiment, the first for Alexander Kaleri, was added to the discretionary Russian task list for today.  These MBI-9 tests are done monthly. [Execution of the medical cardiological assessment is controlled from the Russian payloads laptop 3, using a set respiration rate (without forced or deep breaths) and synchronizing respiration with computer-commanded “inhale” commands.  Before the experiment, arterial blood pressure is measured with the “Tensoplus” sphygmomanometer.  After the test, laptop 3 needs to be reconfigured to its original settings.]

On 11/8, when a manual CMG (control moment gyroscope) desaturation was commanded after transitioning from LVLH to XPOP attitude, the ground observed a previously unseen vibration signature on CMG-3.  The signature lasted for approximately 30 minutes; upon returning from a 12-min LOS, the vibration status had returned to normal.  No impact on current operations.

Mike Foale’s troubleshooting of the MSG ECB (Microgravity Science Glovebox/Experiment Control Board) on 11/13 verified that the ECB data connector pins were not putting out a lower-than-expected voltage (which in turn would have caused the MSG SPLC [standard payload computer] to lose communication with the ECB), as had been suspected.  It is not known at this time if further troubleshooting of the ECB will be performed.

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Eight  3rd):

GASMAP:   Thanks to the crew for the first 30-Day Health Check for Increment 8.  Air sampling data were passed along to ECLSS for analysis/comparison.  At this point, it’s not sure if the real-time downlink portion of the health check will become a regular activity or not.

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

Advanced Ultrasound:  Planned.

Hand Posture Analyzer (HPA):  Next session is planned for mid-increment, and a third late in the increment.

In-Space Soldering Investigation (ISSE): Planned.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI):  Planned.

Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS):   Thanks to the crew for the support in replacing SAMS-II hard drive and battery this past week. 

Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS):  MAMS continues to measure the quasi-steady (below 1 Hz) acceleration environment using the OSS sensor.  HiRAP telemetry downlink is enabled and will remain active assessing the general higher frequency microgravity environment through SAMS recovery.   

Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES):  Behaving nominally.

Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions (InSPACE):   Planned.

Renal Stone:  Thanks to the crew for their patience and perseverance with the Renal Stone investigation this weekend.  “Friendly reminder to continue taking your pills every evening”.  Next session is scheduled for the beginning of the year.  “Please pass along any insight as to the hardware (UCD) malfunctions that you experienced last weekend as we diligently search for the cause of this problem”.

Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SHERES):  The SPHERES team is pleased with the results to date.  The IR (infrared) detected is not viewed as a big problem and the efforts to isolate and characterize the GLA IR emissions were extremely helpful.  The ground believes the beacons will still function properly in the vicinity of the GLA.  If SPHERES is allowed to operate the regular tests during Inc 8 or 9, the USL would be the likely work area, therefore the team may be requesting a similar BBT checkout that will include the Lab.  Also, that second BBT opportunity will address the IR interference with the GLA and beacon functionality in proximity to the GLA.  It may be requested that the GLA causing interference could be turned off during SPHERES ops (assuming it’s not all of them).  The 760DX laptop IR interference was known, and it was a great confirmation of the ground testing results.  The SPHERES will be using the ThinkPad A31p laptop, and it is good to know that it does not produce any interferences.

Foot:   The first data-take is planned for around the first week of December with three more takes during the increment.

Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE):  In progress.  Deployed outside. Nominal and collecting data.

Cellular Biotechnology Support Systems-Fluid Dynamics Investigation (CBOSS-FDI): Thanks to Mike for his work on syringes.  The FDI team is putting together a picture as he requested for reference.

Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM): Next session is planned mid-Increment and another late in the Increment.

Earth Science Toward Exploration Research (ESTER):  Currently there are two sessions planned, one in December and another early in the year.

Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2): Planned.

Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA):   Completed.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO): Excellent camera work, demos, and narrative during Tools Block ops past week resulted in a great education resource.

Crew Earth Observation (CEO): Review of downlinked imagery continues.  The ground has noted the crew’s use of both longer and shorter lenses for both detail and context views of their targets.  This was particularly useful in identifying one of the recent sessions of high obliques along the northeast coast of Brazil.  Without your helpful 80mm views the team would not have been able to confirm the locations of the others.  Continuation of this technique whenever feasible is encouraged.  In the most recent downlinks, specialists were very pleased with multi-lens images of their science target of Lake Poopo.  These are some of the best seen since last year’s El Nino event.  The remaining areas of emphasis in this long-term climate study site will be the large, bright salars, Uyuni and Coipasa to the west and southwest.  Here darkening is indicative of changes in surface water.
Today’s CEO targets, limited in the current XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, wereRecife, Brazil (looking a touch right for an acceptably nadir view of this ancient city. This relatively small urbanized area should fit within a single 180 mm-lens image),Lima, Peru(eight million of Peru’s 23 million live in Lima [population of the entire urban region is larger if Lima’s port city of Callao is included].  Lima is centered several miles inland on the Rimac River that brings meltwater to this desert city from the Andes Mts.),Inland delta, Argentina(Dynamic event. Sunglint pass over one of the larger inland deltas on the planet, formed by the Salado River with runoff from the Andes.  Glint views are needed to show the unexpectedly complex stream patterns that evolve on these vast systems.  A second opportunity later in the evening),Buenos Aires, Argentina(looking a touch right on the south coast of the big muddy estuary of the Parana River, South America’s second largest river),American Samoa (the island chain stretches from nadir westward.  Detailed mapping of tropical corals is the focus), andMelbourne, Australia(looking a touch right of track for this major city that is ranged around the north and east sides of Port Philip Bay.  The urban region should fit within two 180 mm-lens images).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

SpaceRef staff editor.