Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 Nov 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
November 17, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 Nov 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Week 4 for Expedition 8.

The crew continued preparing for tomorrow’s Orlan-suited IVA training exercise.  Focus today was on EVA support systems configuration and checkout, communications setup, leak checks and valve functionality tests.  All tasks were satisfactorily completed, after some small temporary “hiccups”. [FE Alexander Kaleri set up of the CT (communications & tracking) configuration for EVA, checked out the EVA support panel (POV) in the DC-1 docking compartment/airlock, and configured the Service Module (SM) audio/comm subsystem (STTS) on its primary string to connect to the POV.  The crew then destowed and inspected the two Orlan-M suits #23 and #14.  Wearing their medical instrumentation belts, they tested comm and biomedical telemetry via the BSS interface system for vital signs and equipment monitoring.  Suit consumables (such as filters and batteries) were installed and auxiliary equipment prepared.  The Orlans and their BSS interface control units were checked out for proper air/water separation of their cooling system, tested for leaks, and the suits were adjusted in size (height), the latter to be repeated tomorrow under reduced airlock pressure.  Afterwards, the DC-1 POV was disconnected again from the STTS, and support systems, along with the station audio, were reconfigured to initial conditions.]

Tomorrow’s suited exercise will begin at ~9:40am EST.  While suited in the Orlan-Ms in the DC-1 airlock, crewmembers communicate with the SM and TsUP/Moscow by hard-wire via umbilicals from the BSS interface units.  [But after leaving the DC-1 to move to the Soyuz orbital module (BO), there will be no communication with TsUP or between the crewmembers after translation and Pirs/Soyuz hatch closure up to suit egress inside the BO.  The exercise then ends with Foale and Kaleri reopening the hatchway and returning to the DC-1 and SM unsuited.]

Tomorrow and Wednesday, the crew’s sleep cycle will be shifted in order to accommodate RGS (Russian ground site) comm “windows” during the exercise. [Wakeup in the morning is at 3:20am EST (instead of 1:00am), and sleeptime begins at 5:30pm (instead of 4:30pm).  Wednesday’s wakeup will be at 3:30am, and sleeptime begins at the regular time, returning the day/night cycle to “normal”.]

CDR Michael Foale signed in and performed his first session with the psychological MedOps WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool) experiment. [This is a time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmember’s or flight surgeon’s request.]

Foale also completed the regular status checkup of autonomous Lab payloads and conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities), while Kaleri updated the IMS “delta” file for updating the inventory databases.

Mike took the daily cabin air ppO2 (oxygen partial pressure) measurement of the CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) for calldown to the ground, where it is used for trending analyses.

Both crewmembers completed their daily physical exercise program (2.5 hrs.) on TVIS treadmill, CEVIS cycle ergometer, and RED anaerobic exerciser.

ISS continues to fly in XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) attitude, with Yaw: -0.5 deg, Pitch: -9 deg, Roll: 0 deg.  Return to LVLH is on 11/27.

Starting this morning at 5:00am EST and ending at about 11:00am, MCC-Houston and its support group in Moscow (HSG) performed another BCC (backup control center) activation test, which did not involve the ISS crew.  [BCC utilizes the HSG command server and telemetry server.  In test mode, command function was transferred to HSG (as BCC) for sending a single PPCP (preplanned command packet) with the primary command & control systems (CCS) “No Op Test” command to MCC-M/TsUP.  TsUP activated ACT (American contingency telemetry) via cyclogram for uplinking the PPCP to the ISS with HSG confirming successful receipt.  TsUP commanding to the Russian segment (RS) via U.S. S-band as well as MCC-H-to-TsUP flow of status telemetry were not affected, but MCC-H had no real-time telemetry and command capability via Russian ground stations (RGS) during the periodic testing.]

Increased vibration monitoring for the U.S. CMGs (control moment gyros) in the Z1 truss continues after the recent (11/8) anomalous vibration event on CMG-3 following a desaturation after the station changed attitude from LVLH to XPOP.  The vibration was observed for 30 minutes, followed by a nominal LOS (loss-of-signal) period.  At AOS (acquisition of signal) the vibration was gone.  [The monitoring consists of capturing and reviewing high-rate data dumps for all three functioning CMGs as well as checking after each LOS for any attitude control propellants consumed during the LOS (which would warrant the possibility of another vibration event).]

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, wereAngolan Biomass Burning(good descending pass offshore of Angola for oblique observation of smoke being transported into the Atlantic; then more nadir views for documentation of major burn scars in southern Angola and northern Namibia),NE Brazil fires(Dynamic event.  Looking left and right for major fires reported to be raging in Brazil’s arid zone),Buenos Aires, Argentina(pass along the south shore of the River Plate: opportunity to shoot the capital city and the neighboring university town of La Plata, left of track),Industrialized SE Africa smog(ascending pass along the SE coast: looking for differences in airmass clarity between the plateau and the coastal lowlands.  [Nadir views for major new lakes in the mountains, built recently to supply the distant Witwatersrand cities with much needed water.]), andPatagonian Glaciers (to continue taking advantage of the present unusual break in the weather, it was suggested to the crew to shoot left and nadir, for glaciers at the north end of the Andean ice fields).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:00pm EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On, 18A.  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Manual Mode 5/3).  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is on Standby (ready in dual-bed mode).  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating.  MCA (major constituents analyzer) is off (in Life Extending Mode).  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) — 27.2; ppO2 (mmHg) — 157.8; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 4.9.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 20.9.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 756; temperature (deg C) — 23.3.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 745.46; temperature (deg C) — 24.5 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 748.05; temperature (deg C) — 24.8; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 748.15; temperature (deg C) — 29.2; shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.1, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.3
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 10.8

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in biased Autotrack mode (suntracking). 
  • SM batteries:  Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is still in slot #8 for troubleshooting; all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode (batteries #1 and #3 are degraded).  
  • FGB batteries:  Batteries #1 is off; 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-2 MDM is prime, C&C-1 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-1 MDM is Off; PL-2 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 (all lanes reintegrated 11/5).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational; string #3 dropped out 10/22.

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available:3704 kg (8166 lb) as of 11/13 [SM(755) + FGB(2597) + Progress M(352) + 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).

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, IAC-1 is suspect).
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • HCOR (high-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 based at MBS PDGF #2/LEE A, 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, 6:56am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 375.6 km
  • Apogee — 379.9 km
  • Perigee — 371.3 km
  • Period — 92.1 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006394
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.64
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 28496
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.