Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 Nov 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
November 20, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 Nov 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Today five years ago, a Proton rocket launched the first component of the ISS,- the Control Module “Zarya”, aka FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok).  Happy Anniversary, ISS!

Before breakfast and physical exercise, FE Alexander Kaleri and CDR/SO Michael Foale conducted their first round of the Russian crew health-monitoring program’s medical assessment MO-9/Urinalysis. [MO-9 is biochemical urinalysis, conducted regularly every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs), and it is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for US crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the “PHS/Without Blood Labs” exam.  The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus “Urolux” developed originally for the Mir program. ]

Later, after breakfast, the crew completed the PHS without blood labs exam and performed the clinical evaluation, each one acting first as CMO (crew medical officer) and then being the examined subject. Afterwards, Mike Foale completed data entry for both of them, and Kaleri stowed the MO-9 and PHS hardware.  [The PHS exam is guided by special software (IFEP, in-flight examination program) on the medical equipment computer (MEC).]

After assessing downlinked TVIS treadmill audio/video imagery and PCMCIA storage card engineering data, ground specialists diagnosed possible failure of bearing(s) in the TVIS gyroscope.  While further data assessment is underway, the crew was asked not to exercise on the treadmill but to substitute the CEVIS (cycle ergometer with vibration isolation) for their cardiovascular exercise session.  [It is anticipated that a procedure on how to run on TVIS with the gyroscope powered off will be provided to the crew within the next couple of days.]

Mike Foale reviewed a computer-based training (CBT) course for the upcoming HRF FOOT (Human Research Facility — Foot/Ground Reaction Forces During Space Flight) experiment, which will start with an electromyography (EMG, muscular electric signals) calibration session by the CDR tomorrow (11/21).

The Science Officer also spent time familiarizing himself with the upcoming CBOSS-FDI (Cellular Biotechnology Operations Support System/Fluid Dynamics Investigation) experiments.  He then he set up and optimized, with ground support during the second hour, the video camera coverage settings inside the closed locker environment of the FDI experiments. [Today’s FDI activity was the first of two activities to determine the optimal camera set up for imaging FDI TCMs (tissue culture modules).  The f-stop and flash setting data of today’s run will help the ground to determine the optimal settings for the remainder of the experiments.]

FE Kaleri terminated the bake-out cycle on filter bed 1 of the SM’s harmful impurities removal unit (BMP), moding the channel back to Purify.  Later, he initiated regeneration on filter channel 2. [Regeneration of the air purifier filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

Kaleri unstowed the data tape with the Russian GFI-1 Relaksatsiya experiment recordings of the Soyuz TMA-2/6S reentry on 10/27, set up the TV equipment and prepared the tape for downlinking a 10-min. fragment of the data, commanded by the preset SPP automated sequencer.

While Mike was busy with the CBOSS-FDI, Sasha 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.

Kaleri also conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities) and updated the IMS “delta” file (by inputting bar codes) for updating the inventory databases.

The ground completed the external station inspection with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) cameras deferred from yesterday because of a missing SSRMS display frame file. [The survey included surfaces of S1 and S0 truss elements as well as P1 and P6 radiators.]

The crew is continuing to support the Renal Stone prevention experiment by taking the test medication (either potassium citrate or placebo tablets) at dinnertime until the next sample collection phase.

Tonight after working hours, the space community of JSC at Clear Lake, TX, is observing the 5th
Anniversary of the first ISS launch with a “rip-roaring” celebration at the Space Center Houston (SCH).

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, wereBuenos Aires, Argentina (looking a touch right on the south side of the River Plate), SE Africa aerosols(world fires website reports fires along the coast of southeast Africa: as ISS passed parallel with the coast just off shore, the crew was to look left for any images of these fires), Betsiboka Delta, Madagascar(recent images of this delta show unprecedented change.  On the image supplied, annotations show locations where identifiable changes that have occurred in the last 20 years–including the growth of an entire new island, and the beginnings of several more and extension of existing islands.  Extreme soil erosion inland since World War II has resulted in the estuary becoming 75% filled with sediment.  Ocean-going ships were able to travel up the estuary, but now berth at the coast. We need to distinguish between high- and low-water island emergence), Patagonian Glaciers(Southern Ice Field clear on both sides of the Andes range), andSabancaya landslide, Peru (the oversteepened sides of Sabancaya volcano are under investigation for possible landsliding.  Researchers have requested a detailed image of this remote location.  Crew was requested to take a mapping swath looking slightly left, of three close-spaced ice-caped volcanoes).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 11:53am 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) — 154.6; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.9.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 20.8.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 756; temperature (deg C) — 24.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744.52; temperature (deg C) — 24.5 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 746.33; temperature (deg C) — n/a; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 746.53; temperature (deg C) — n/a; shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.4, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.5
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 11.6

(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 today, 2:24pm EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 375.2 km
  • Apogee — 379.5 km
  • Perigee — 370.9 km
  • Period — 92.0 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006312
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.64
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 120 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 28548
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.