Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 Sep 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
September 17, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 Sep 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  The crew was congratulated on a successful repair job on RED (resistive exerciser) canister #1010 yesterday.

CDR Yuri Malenchenko worked in the Service Module (SM) where he removed the failed #2 storage battery and replaced it with a new unit brought up on Progress 12P.  The ZRU charge/discharge unit #2 was deactivated by TsUP/Moscow beforehand and later reactivated.  The old battery was prepacked for disposal.   [This provides the SM with 8 (out of 8) functioning accumulators, one of which (#1) has been operating with degraded capacity.  Two more 800A spares were delivered by Progress, one for the SM, the other for FGB.]

Malenchenko also removed two fixed handrails from the service table in the SM, then installed new removable handrails on the table mounting bar.

FE/SO Ed Lu worked on the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), which had successfully completed sample 14 of the PFMI (Pore Formation & Mobility Investigation) experiment.   [Ed remove PFMI-14 from the thermal chamber, exchanged the PFMI g-LIMIT bypass micro drive assembly in the laptop and removed the video tape.  The MSG was later deactivated, after the EPO demo.]

The crew conducted the CHeCS (crew health care systems) emergency medical operations CMO OBT (on-board training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh the crew medical officer’s acuity in applying ACLS (advanced cardio life support) in an emergency.  [Today’s proficiency drill focused on administration of intravenous (IV) fluid infusion and the diagnosis and treatment of a tension pneumothorax.  (This refers to a collection of gas in the pleural space in the chest resulting in collapse of the lung on the affected side.  A tension pneumothorax is a life-threatening  condition, where the air within the pleural space is under pressure, displacing mediastinal structures and compromising cardiopulmonary function.)]

Malenchenko completed another regular weekly status checkup of the IP-1 air flow sensors that are installed in the various RS (Russian segment) hatchways and the hatchway between FGB and Node.

Ed Lu set up the video camcorder, then taped his EPO (Educational Payload Operations) demo showing typical activity on and in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), which still contains the PFMI hardware.  The tape is intended for a NASA educator guide targeted at students in grades 5-8.

Ed also performed the Hand Posture Analyzer (HPA) experiment for the first time, using the posture acquisition glove (PGA).  Since it has delicate sensors attached to the tops of the fingers, pressure should only be applied to the “palm side” while donning and doffing).  [The research objective of the ASI/Italy (Kayser Co.) designed HPA is to investigate the performance degradation of the human upper limb muscle-skeletal apparatus and its morphological-functional modifications during long term exposition to zero-G and to study the role of gravity in the planning and execution hierarchy of reaching, grasping, manipulating and transporting objects.  The HPA facility consists of a Hand Grip Dynamometer (HGD), a Pinch Force Dynamometer (PFD), the instrumented PAG with 15 degrees of freedom, allowing the measurement of the bending angles on individual phalanxes, coupled to a Wrist Electronic Box (WEB) housing an inertial tracking system in order to acquire tri-axial acceleration and rotation of the forearm.]

Since the HPA activity went longer than expected, the planned hygiene pantry auditing task was deferred to 9/19 (Friday).

Yuri Malenchenko set up the video equipment and completed another downlink of footage recorded on the Russian/German Plasma Crystal-3 (PK-3) payload on 8/1.  There will be several of these video downlinks.  [The experiment looked at plasma inside an evacuated work chamber, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by RF/radio frequency power.]

The Science Officer completed his 18th weekly filling-out of the food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), which keeps a log of his nutritional intake over time on special medical equipment computer (MEC) software.

The CDR set up the “Urolux” equipment for his and Ed Lu’s next session with the Russian biochemical urine test (PZE MO-9), on tomorrow’s schedule for both crewmembers along with other PHS (periodic health status) assessments.

Hurricane Isabel’s landfall is expected to involve NASA east coast facilities, affecting ISS ops with minimal-to-moderate impact, namely in the area of their emergency support on the two Russian VHF (very-high frequency) channels to Soyuz 6S (in case of return) or the SM.  [Wallops Island Facility (WLPS) is expected to shut down tonight.  White Sands Complex (WSC) VHF channels are routed through Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Dryden VHF goes directly to JSC.  GSFC Flight Dynamics Facility (FDF) also normally provides updated Soyuz-6S/TDRS acquisition vectors.  Should FDF suffer an outage, today’s uplinked vectors are good for seven days without update, assuming there are no unplanned vehicle maneuvers.  However, should a maneuver be necessary through Sunday, Russian assets and MCC-H interfaces would be used for trajectory and pointing purposes.]

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 High Central Andean Glaciers (clear weather on the equator.  Chance to shoot volcano-summit ice fields near nadir), Lake Poopo, Bolivia (lake levels: inter-ENSO data point requested), Congo-Zimbabwe Biomass Burning (shooting left and right for fires and smoke.  ISS passed over the Victoria Falls, largest in Africa, on the Zambezi River. Recent detailed CEO images of the falls are in preparation for website publication today), Tuamotu Archipelago (coral reef photography, left and right of track), Howland Island, Pacific (atoll on the equator. Images needed for global mapping project), Baker Island, Pacific (atoll on the equator. Images needed for global mapping project. Clear weather on the equator.  Chance to shoot volcano-summit ice fields near nadir),
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 2:10pm 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 On; SKV-2 is Off.
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 26.2; ppO2 (mmHg) — data invalid; ppCO2 (mmHg) — data invalid.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 751; temperature (deg C) — 21.1.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 752; temperature (deg C) — 22.7.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 749.61; temperature (deg C) — 23.1 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 751.48; temperature (deg C) — 23.1; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 751.58; temperature (deg C) — 28.4; shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.8, ppO2 (mmHg) — 150.0; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 4.1.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.7
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 16.2.

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both 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 in “Cycle” mode (newly installed); battery #7 is in “Capacity Restoration” (ROM) mode; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode (battery #1 is degraded). 
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #2 is in “Cycle” mode.  All other batteries (5) are online, 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, 9:30am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 380.7 km
  • Apogee — 384.4 km
  • Perigee — 376.9 km
  • Period — 92.2 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005516
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.62
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 60 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 27543
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.