Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 Nov 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
November 19, 2003
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 Nov 2003

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

After yesterday’s Orlan-suited IVA translation demo, the crew today tagged up with TsUP specialists for a 20-min. debrief of the exercise.  The planned drying-out of their suits was not required (suits reported dry).  The Orlans were stowed.

FE Alexander Kaleri restored the DC-1 docking compartment and the Soyuz Orbital Module (BO) to their initial configurations and cleaned up. [Activities included removing and stowing DC-1 and BO hatch cover devices (handle, adapter, tightening tool), deinstalling and stowing umbilicals, spacesuit pressure relief fittings, suit mirrors and positioning restraints, and transferring the stowage containers to their designated storage locations.]

CDR/SO Michael Foale completed work on clearing the five fire ports in the U.S. segment (USOS), providing enough access space to insert the CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) or CDM (carbon dioxide monitor) instruments behind wall panels.

Kaleri initiated battery charging for the Russian DVCAM (DSR PD-1P) digital camcorder.

Sasha Kaleri broke out the “Urolux” equipment and set it up for his and Mike’s next session with the Russian biochemical urine test (PZE MO-9), on tomorrow’s schedule for both crewmembers.  Preparations were also made for tomorrow’s U.S. IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) tests without blood labs, which is part of the comprehensive medical evaluation. [MO-9 is biochemical urinalysis, conducted regularly every 30 days (and also before and after Orlan-suited activities), and it is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for US crewmembers for PHS assessment as part of the “PHS/Without Blood Labs” exam.  The MO-9 analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus “Urolux” developed originally for the Mir program.  PHS without blood labs are performed with equipment from the crew’s ambulatory medical pack (AMP) and advanced life support pack (ALSP), guided by special software (IFEP, in-flight examination program) on the medical equipment computer (MEC).  All PHS data are to be recorded on the IFEP, using the same forms used for MO-9.]

In the Service Module (SM), the FE started another regeneration cycle on absorbent bed #1 of the BMP harmful impurities unit, leaving channel 2 in Purify mode.  [The “bakeout” cycle in the filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

The daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system, including ASU toilet facilities, was completed today by Sasha, while Mike performed the regular routine status checkup of running Increment 8 payloads.

The crew worked out on TVIS treadmill, RED resistive exerciser and CEVIS cycle ergometer, completing their daily physical exercise program.  Foale also transferred the accumulated TVIS exercise files to the MEC (medical equipment computer) for subsequent downlink to the ground.

At 12:05pm EST, Alex Kaleri downlinked a TV message from the SM via Russian ground sites (RGS) to Moscow with anniversary greetings for Boris E. Paton, President of the Ukrainian Academy of Science and Academician of the Russian Academy of Science. [B.E. Paton, working with S.P. Korolev and Mstislav Keldysh, was instrumental in developing the unique welding technique used for the thick tank walls of the Russian N-1 super booster in 1965; later, he was the innovator behind the “Vulkan” experiment on welding and cutting performed by Shonin and Kubasov aboard Soyuz 6 in October 1969, and pioneered, with Ukrainian institutes and organizations, a variety of deployable space trusses (MAYAK, OPORA, SOFORA, RAPANA, TOPOL) on the Salyut-7 and Mir space stations.  Today, Academician Paton is developing a number of fascinating projects and experiments for the ISS, viz., FLAGMAN (a new generation of hand tools), RESTAVRATSIYA (“restauration”, i.e., coating repair), and POLIGON (truss structure).]

After Monday’s successful dryrun of the periodic checkout of the BCC (backup control center) at Moscow, the trial shift swing and BCC activation began today at about 9:30am EST, with no crew involvement required, and will be completed by MCC-H and its support group in Moscow (HSG) at 5:10pm. [BCC utilizes the HSG command server and telemetry server.  In test mode, HSG (as BCC) sends a single not-for-uplink PPCP (preplanned command packet) to MCC-M/TsUP, then cancels it after successful transmission.  MCC-M plays back ACT (American contingency telemetry) recorded earlier, 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 are also not affected, but MCC-H has no real-time telemetry and command capability via Russian ground stations (RGS) during the dry-run.]

The planned external station inspection with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) cameras was cancelled yesterday when the Cupola RWS (robotic workstation) power-up by the ground had to be aborted due to a missing SSRMS display frame file. [The ground-commanded survey was rescheduled for tomorrow, after the file in question has been replaced in the onboard MCC computer system.  It will also have to be in place for the next SSRMS crew proficiency training on 11/24.]

After the recent (11/8) anomalous vibration event on CMG-3 (control moment gyroscope #3) following a thruster desaturation after the station changed attitude from LVLH to XPOP, careful monitoring of the three CMGs by MCC-Houston continues, with particular attention on CMG temperatures and spin motor currents. [The replacement of the failed CMG-1 is planned for the first Return-to-Flight Shuttle mission to ISS (STS-114, not earlier than Sept. ’04), carrying a crew of seven with veteran Astronaut Eileen Collins in command.]

As every year on Nov. 17-18, the Earth has once again passed through the Leonid meteor shower.  Observation times from the ISS early this morning (1:29am &3:01am EST) were uplinked to the crew for recording with camcorder and/or digital camera.  [These meteors (“shooting stars”) are called the Leonids because they appear to radiate out of the Constellation Leo.  As the Earth crosses the orbit of Comet Tempel-Tuttle, which has produced these superfast particles, the Leonids become visible, looking like streaks of light (called a “train”).  Meteors can be seen on any night, but Earth enters clouds of particles several times each year and the result is then a meteor shower.  As the particles, ranging from the size of a salt grain to that of a pea, enter Earth’s atmosphere, they travel at speeds of over 158,000 miles per hour.]

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, were N Australia coast and streams (Dynamic event.  Sunglint at sunrise on the whole Gulf of Carpentaria, left of track.  Then a mapping swath of near-nadir views of stream patterns in the arid interior of Queensland [left and right of track] where river behavior is poorly understood),Industrialized SE Africa haze (high pressure was setting in behind a cold front that has swept across the country.  Crew was to shoot obliques of any pollution masses.  These spread outwards from the industrial core),Johannesburg, South Africa(nadir pass over this great conurbation.  Looking left and right for views along the axis of the gold reef and its many towns), andAtlantic cloud field(Dynamic event.  Dry air moving west from near the African coast is undergoing modification by the addition of moisture from the sea surface.  This process appears as a very large field of “potato chip” clouds, with smaller dimensions east of track, and larger where the air is moister to the west of track).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 2:26pm 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) — 27.4; ppO2 (mmHg) — 156.6; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 2.7.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 757; temperature (deg C) — 20.9.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 756; temperature (deg C) — n/a.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744.52; temperature (deg C) — 24.6 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 746.23; temperature (deg C) — n/a; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 746.43; temperature (deg C) — n/a; shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.7, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.1
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 11.3

(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, 6:19am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 375.4 km
  • Apogee — 379.7 km
  • Perigee — 371.0 km
  • Period — 92.0 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006399
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.64
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 120 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 28527
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.