Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 Jul 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
July 17, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 Jul 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Day 84 in space for the Increment 7 crew.  (>>>Twenty-eight years ago today, on July 17, 1975, an Apollo capsule crewed by Tom Stafford, Deke Slayton & Vance Brand, and the Soyuz 19 spaceship with Alexej Leonov & Valeriy Kubasov performed the historical US/USSR ASTP linkup in space, on the first human spaceflight mission managed jointly by two nations. The second was/is the ISS.<<<)

Early this morning, CDR Yuri Malenchenko worked in the Service Module (SM), removing the failed #4 storage battery and replacing it with the last 800A spare, from the FGB.  The ZRU charge/discharge unit #4 was deactivated by TsUP/MCC-Moscow beforehand and later reactivated.  [The old battery was pre-packed for disposal in Progress.  Charge cycling of the new battery will start at about 1:20pm EDT; testing will continue overnight.  This should provide the SM with 8 (out of 8) functioning accumulators, of which #1, #2 and #3 are operating with degraded capacity.  Two more 800A units will be manifested on the next Progress cargo ship (12P), currently scheduled for launch on 9/18.]

FE/SO Ed Lu continued his work on the transition of the onboard File Server (FS) to the NGL (next generation laptop) and the subsequent reboot of all IBM 760XD ThinkPad SSCs (station support computers).   [FS was successfully transitioned, but the crew reported that significantly more time was required to complete the task than estimated in the initial timeline.  There was also some difficulty in re-loading SSC-9 as part of the transition process.  Following discussion with SSC specialists at MCC-H, it is believed that the problem is with the SSC-9 CD-ROM drive, and a work-around solution was identified.  The old FS and the failed SSC-5 are now stowed, and the SSCVT (SSC videoconference terminal) laptop has been restored.]

Malenchenko installed the UOP-DCP (utility outlet panel-to-display & control panel) power bypass cable for the Robotics/MSS (mobile service system).  At about 10am EDT, MCC-H powered up the MSS/MBS (Mobile Service System/Mobile Base System) for the scheduled test activities (mate and unmate) of its MCAS UMA (Common Attach System/Umbilical Mating Assembly), commanded and controlled by the ground.  [The MBS checkout of the MCAS latch and umbilical mating assembly in cold condition expands the operational envelope of the common attach system.  Russian SM thrusters were inhibited at 9:15am for the duration of the test and subsequently re-enabled at 11:+am.]

Ed Lu activated the MSG (microgravity science glovebox) for a ground-controlled session of the Coarsening in Solid/Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2) experiment.  Later, the MSG was powered down again.  [Today’s activity was to alter the CSLM-2 SPU (sample processing unit) soak times that are programmed inside ECU-1 (electronics control unit #1), using files uplinked overnight to the MLC (MSG laptop computer).  Ed Lu powered the ECU on and ran computer procedures in support of the operation.  CSLM ops will start tomorrow.]

Since CSLM uses the VES (vacuum exhaust system) within the US Lab, both MCC-H and MCC-M safety managers have reviewed the procedures.  They are in agreement that there are no open issues to payload operations.  VES activation went well.

Later in the day, CDR Yuri Malenchenko was scheduled to conduct another session of the MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation during graded exercises on the VELO cycle ergometer, with Ed Lu’s assistance.  [Malenchenko used the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes, and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer’s instrumentation panels.  For the graded exercise, he worked the pedals after a prescribed program at load settings of 125, 150, and 175 watts for three minutes each.  All measurements were recorded and telemetered during Daily Orbit 13 to MCC-M, from where the workout was controlled by a specialist.]

Yuri completed the regular inspection of the active BRPK-1 air/liquid condensate separator in the SM, followed by the routine checkup of the BIO-5/Rasteniya-2 plant growth experiment in the Lada-2 greenhouse.

Ed Lu conducted another weekly inventory audit of the available CWCs (contingency water containers) and their contents, to keep track of onboard water supplies.  [Last time done: 7/10.]

The CDR performed the daily routine maintenance of SOZh life support systems (including toilet facility, food containers, water containers and solid waste containers) and the preparation of the daily IMS (inventory management system) update file.

Yuri also attended to his regular daily inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment which studies growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-2 greenhouse.  Later, he copied the accumulated photo/data files to a floppy diskette for transfer to the Russian laptop 3 and subsequent downlink via Regul-Packet.

Both crewmembers conducted their regular daily physical exercise program of 2.5 hrs on TVIS treadmill (aerobic) and RED exerciser (anaerobic).  Exercise on the RED was “off-limit” from 10:00-11:25am EDT due to the Robotics ops.

At 8:25am, the crew downlinked the recorded “Live on ISS” video tour prepared by Ed Lu last week.  The program went out live on NASA TV, narrated by Ed on S-band/audio (Space-to-Ground 2, SG2), and will be rerun.

At 2:10pm EDT, the crew is scheduled to conduct an interactive PAO/educational TV downlink to an Tulsa Aviation Education Alliance (TAEA) event at Tulsa Community College, Tulsa, OK.  [The live in-flight program is part of the Science and Engineering Careers Academy (SECA) held from July 14-18 and sponsored by TAEA.  About 400 individuals were to be present for the event, including Astronaut Charles Precourt and MCC-H’s Dr. Merri Sanchez.]

TsUP is currently conducting checkout tests of the newly installed Russian ASN satellite navigation antenna system, but technical problems with the system are being encountered.  The testing will be continued for the rest of this week and probably also all next week, with conclusions to be drawn by the end of next week.   [Using GLONASS satellites (the Russian equivalent of GPS), the ASN, when functioning, will allow state vector (SV) updates without using the ground (which up to now has to uplink daily SV updates) or requiring SV transfers from the USOS from time to time.]

Yesterday morning during Daily Orbit 1, the Russian SKV-1 air conditioner experienced an emergency shutdown due to excessive condensate build-up in the system.  The crew pumped out the condensate and returned the system to nominal operations with no problems. 

A series of activities pertaining to the periodic maintenance of EMU (extravehicular mobility unit) batteries is scheduled for next week, starting on 7/21 (Monday).

Today’s CEO 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 Miami, FL (nadir pass), Tucson fires, Arizona (looking slightly left for the Catalina Mts fires, just north of Tucson, where the crew should still have seen smoke), High Central Andean Glaciers (pass along the spine of the Peruvian Andes.  Shooting any of the several snow/ice-capped volcanoes that pass at nadir.  Tropical ice is proving to be a sensitive indicator of local and maybe regional climate change.  Crew was to include a broad view [or overlapping mapping swath] to assist in locating their shot), Johannesburg, South Africa (nadir views all the way to oblique right, for this string of industrial cities), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [nadir and a touch left.  The Sao Paolo urban region was obliquely right, with ~25 million people]), Chao lava dome, Chile (this famous series of lava flows is 14.5 km long, geologically young [100,000 years old] and a cross between a lava flow and a lava dome.  Its unique wrinkled aspect is partly due to a viscous mass flowing down a steep slope.  Nadir view), and Buenos Aires, Argentina (looking right of track for general views of the metro area and the River Plate in the foreground.)
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

Besides the daily CEO (crew earth observation) target list, the station residents were also provided with times of ISS equatorial night crossings for observing the current equatorial-tropical storm zone.

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 8:00am EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On (16 amp mode).  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 (unit is On).  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is On; SKV-2 is Off.

Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 3721 kg (8203 lb) as of 7/10  [SM(774) + FGB(2765) + Progress M(182) +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 & 4B both in directed position (Blind/triple-angle mode, non solar-tracking, i.e., fixed at 279 deg & 81 deg for drag reduction [“sun slicer”]).
  • SM batteries:  Battery #4 has been replaced; in “Cycle” mode; battery #2 is disconnected; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  Batteries #1, #2 and #3 showing degraded capacity. 
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #3 is offline; battery #3 is in ROM mode; all other batteries (4) 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:

  • LVLH -YVV (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, -y-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -10 deg, pitch: -9.3 deg, roll: 0 deg]), with CMG/TA (thruster assist) Momentum Management.
  • Solar Beta angle:  64.9 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 (internal audio controller #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, 7:31am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 386.2 km
  • Apogee — 391.9 km
  • Perigee — 380.5 km
  • Period — 92.28 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008399
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
  • Solar Beta Angle — 64.9 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 70 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 26573
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.