Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 Sep 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
September 15, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 Sep 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Week 20 is underway for Expedition 7.  (Today in 1966, Gemini XI returned to Earth, and in 1976 Soyuz 22 was launched with two cosmonauts into Earth orbit for 8 days.)

CDR Yuri Malenchenko completed the scheduled replacement of three warranty-expired IDZh-2 smoke detectors in the DC-1 “Pirs” docking module with new units (#51, #52, #54) delivered on Progress-248/12P.  [For the duration of the R&R, power and bfire detection mode were disabled.  The old units were stowed for disposal, with stowage locations reported to MCC-Moscow.]

FE/SO Ed Lu worked a major task today doing in-flight maintenance (IFM) of the failed RED (resistive exercise device) canister #1010.  The currently installed canisters #1011 and #1012 are cleared for daily exercise use.  [For the troubleshooting, the canister was first put back in the pre-shim configuration, then opened up to inspect its interior, including individual Flexpacks. Depending on his findings, the next steps were to be decided by the RED engineers.]

Because of the high-priority RED troubleshooting, the SSRMS (space station remote manipulator system) robotics session planned for today was postponed and is being rescheduled, probably on 9/23.

The crew was allotted some time for familiarization with the SSSP kit (GPS receiver plus Iridium satellite phone) and the upcoming battery charging.  The Motorola-9505 phone and the Garmin-GPS map-76 localizer are intended for use after landing of Soyuz 7S in late October.  [The actual charging is now scheduled for next Monday (9/22), pending the outcome of currently on-going testing of battery charging in a CTB bag, for safety, at White Sands.]

Ed Lu reviewed the upcoming new EPO (Educational Payload Operations) session, which will demonstrate the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) for a NASA educator guide targeted at students in grades 5-8.

Ed Lu performed the third of four planned comparison readings between the primary CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) and its backup.  [MCC-H engineers are trending the data from the CSA-CP instruments in order to troubleshoot possible drifts in their oxygen (O2) sensors.  During an earlier reading last week, with both units side by side, the primary unit read 19.2% O2 while the backup unit showed 21.7%.  Specialists are evaluating these results and comparing them with other onboard instruments to understand the reason for the discrepancy.]

Yuri completed today’s maintenance of the SM SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities), as well as the preparation of the daily IMS (inventory management system) “delta” file for automatic export/import to update the database, while Ed performed the regular routine status checkup of the autonomous Lab payloads.

Malenchenko also completed the periodic inspection and functionality checkup of the BRPK-2 air/liquid condensate separator in the SM.

Both crewmembers worked out according to their regular daily physical exercise program of 2.5 hrs on TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser, and VELO cycle with load trainer.  Lu also conducted the regular bimonthly TVIS inspection/maintenance.

At 12:55pm EDT,  Ed set up and conducted a ham radio session with students at Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii.  [Punahou is a coeducational college preparatory day school whose 3700 students, grades kindergarten to 12, reflect Hawaii’s cultural and socio-economic diversity.  Punahou, founded in 1841 by Congregational missionaries, but today non-sectarian, is the largest independent school in the U.S., with a reputation for academic excellence.]

The Service Module’s PCS (portable computer system) machine failed over the weekend, and a reboot did not work.  The Cupola RWS (robotics work station) PCS was moved to the SM instead and is working nominally.  Analysis is continuing.

MCC-Moscow last night conducted a successful cabin repressurization with air from Progress 12P, increasing cabin pressure by 10 mmHg.  [There are about 23 mmHg’s worth of air left in the Progress tank, and one additional repress will be conducted before the Elektron is reactivated on Friday (5/19).  Later air represses will be performed while Elektron is operating.]
Ground investigation continues of the IAC (internal audio controller) which yesterday (as several times before) transitioned from IAC-2 to IAC-1 and back to IAC-2 after a few minutes.  IAC-1 is now the prime IAC.

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 Hurricane Isabel (Dynamic event. Low-illumination view  [~20 minutes after sunrise local time] as ISS passed just west of this major stormcrew was to look ~1.5 deg left of track for the predicted position of the eye.  Storm forecast to weaken slightly to Category 4 level, heading WNW parallel with and north of the Bahamas island chain), Lower Amazon River Basin (conditions remain fair. Looking right of track for detailed views of this estuary of the planet’s largest river), W Amazonia (Dynamic event. W Amazonia was clearing of cloud.  Looking left of track for sunglint views of river systems. 180-mm lens recommended to capture wider swaths), and Tuamotu-Austral Islands (nadir pass over these South Sea coral islands).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:31pm EDT).

Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) and Thermal Control (TCS):

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered Off (O2 and air being supplied by Progress 12P).  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 Off; SKV-2 is Off.
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 25.8; ppO2 (mmHg) — data invalid; ppCO2 (mmHg) — data invalid.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 741; temperature (deg C) — 20.4.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744; temperature (deg C) — 22.3.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 743.80; temperature (deg C) — 23.9 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 745.62; temperature (deg C) — 24.1; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 745.83; temperature (deg C) — 30.9; shell heater temp (deg C) — 27.1, ppO2 (mmHg) — 152.2; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.9.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.3
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 12.5.

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • th P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Directed Position mode (blind/triple-angle mode, non solar-tracking, drag reduction).
  • SM batteries:  Battery #2 is failed and off; battery #7 is in Capacity Restoration (ROM) mode; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode (battery #1 is degraded). 
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #1 is in Cycle mode; 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-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-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.

Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 4434 kg (9775 lb) as of 9/12  [SM(755) + FGB(2815) + Progress M(864) + 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:

  • 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:  40 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-1 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, 6:50am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 380.8 km
  • Apogee — 384.6 km
  • Perigee — 376.9 km
  • Period — 92.2 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005709
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.62
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 65 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 27510
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.