Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 Oct 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
October 21, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 Oct 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  On this second day of “joint ops”, onboard activities are in full swing.

CDR Yuri Malenchenko, CDR-8 Mike Foale and FE/SO Ed Lu had several hours between them for ISS-7 to ISS-8 handover activities, going by the updated Crew Handover document and fresh inputs uplinked overnight by Moscow.   [The handover (h/o) book includes sections on h/o video recording, checking emergency response activity readiness, details of TV and other comm subsystems, radiogram management protocol, maintenance requirements of crew life support and power systems, Kaleri’s personal effects kit, care of hatches and windows, medical equipment, etc.]

VCFE-1 Pedro Duque spent his second day with another full plate of “Cervantes” research tasks, starting with blood sampling for the SIMPATHO experiment, in which FE Aleksandr Kaleri assisted.

Duque then assembled the BMI hardware for blood pressure monitoring in zero-G.  [The BMI cuff is worn on the arm not used for blood draws; Pedro’s blood pressure measurements are taken every 15 min. throughout the day and every 30 min. during the night.  The task also involves filling out logbook questionnaires for each data take period. ]

Later, Duque set up and activated the CARDIOCOG experiment equipment, closing it out after about an hour’s run.   [CARDIOCOG requires systolic & diastolic blood pressure and pulse data (from BMI).  During the session, Kaleri used the camcorder to take video recordings of the subject (Duque), whom he also assisted on the experiment’s mental stress phase.]

In other Cervantes activities, Pedro, with assist by team mates, ran the Flight Day 4 session of MSS-2/MESSAGE (which has a specific sample assigned to each of the eight program days), deactivated the bio-object cultivation process of the BIO-10 Intercellular Interaction experiment on its second day, stowing the samples in the Kriogem-03 freezer, set up and used the video camera for recording AGE payload activities (swap-out of bio containers), and at the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) he performed the time-critical events of activating the NANOSLAB hardware and changing out the video tape for the PromISS-02 experiment.

For long-term temperature monitoring inside the new crew return vehicle, Expedition 8 FE Kaleri spent about 1.5 hrs. in the Soyuz TMA-3/7S Orbital Module on the regular task of installing the LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251M1B) of the BITS onboard telemetry system and its PZU/TA765B ROM (read-only memory) unit that were originally in the TMA-2/6S vehicle, where they are no longer needed.

Later, Kaleri transferred cargoes from the new Soyuz to the ISS, keeping track of the transfers in the IMS (inventory management system).  For the US payloads, Houston uplinked a supplement to Kaleri’s 7S Russian transfer plan, with stowage information for the unpacking activities.  [Soyuz cargo manifest shows ~30 Russian items (12 logistics items, 8 Russian experiment kits, 10 kits for Pedro Duque), and about 40 U.S. cargoes (33 logistics items, 7 kits for two U.S. experiments).]

CDR-8 Foale unstowed his new IBM ThinkPad A31p and its power adapter cable, both delivered on 7S, and installed his laptop in the Lab.  [He then reloaded the SSC (station support computer) machine with two CPSD (crew personal support drive) reload disks carrying his personal data which had arrived as part of his crew personal allocation on 7S.]

Ed Lu conducted the routine technical maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system and prepared the daily IMS “delta” file for automatic export/import to update the database, while Yuri Malenchenko performed the periodic maintenance/inspection of the BRPK air/water condensate separator in the Service Module (SM).

As part of scheduled VC5 operations, Sasha Kaleri used a 3D still camera to take stereo images of ESA flight engineer Pedro Duque performing various activities in the U.S. and Russian segments of the station (Lab, Node, Airlock, FGB and SM).   [Each of the 23 scenes, listed in a detailed uplinked script, required 2-3 stereo images at changing exposure values.] 

In addition to the 3D photography, Duque and Kaleri took regular video and photo imagery of onboard activities for documentary and PAO use on Earth.  Sasha later had ten minutes set aside for recharging the DVCAM camcorder battery.

Ed Lu initiated another maintenance charging/discharging cycle on EMU/spacesuit batteries #2032 and #2033 in the Airlock’s BSA (battery stowage assembly).  The charging will take about 24 hrs and will be followed by discharge.  Mike Foale assisted in the activity as part of the official handover plan.

At 3:25am EDT, Malenchenko and Duque set up for a formal TV VIP event in front of the Spanish and European flags in the SM, followed by downlink of the video footage recorded of the Soyuz docking, hatch opening and subsequent payload operations.  At 4:25am, Pedro Duque received the scheduled ESA VIP call with the President of Spain, José Maria Aznar López, Spain’s Minister for Science & Technology Juan Costa Climent, and students from two universities, including the School of Aeronautical Engineering in Madrid, Pedro Duque’s graduation Alma Mater.  The exchange, via U.S. Ku- and S-band assets, lasted about 10 minutes.

Later, at 8:30am, Kaleri and Ed Lu reconfigured the TV hardware setup for two back-to-back interactive TV interview events, starting at 9:45am, with ABC News (Ned Potter) and the Houston Chronicle (Mark Carreau).

Pedro Duque spent another hour on scheduled “commemorative activity”, which is standard for visiting guest crewmembers and usually consists of signing and stamping envelopes and other memorabilia.  Duque’s “Simbolika”, which include abstracted-portrait paintings of famous personalities by the Austrian artist Helmut Zwerger, were delivered on Soyuz 7S.

The four crewmembers of Expedition 6 & 7 conducted their physical exercise on TVIS, RED and CEVIS.  Weekly maintenance of the treadmill and transfer of accumulated TVIS and RED exercise data to the MEC (medical equipment computer) were performed as part of tutorial crew handover.

The U.S. CDRA (carbon dioxide removal assembly) continues to run, supporting the joint Expedition 7 & 8+1 crews.  It will be active for the remainder of the joint period to supplement the Russian Vozdukh, the primary means of CO2 removal.

To provide oxygen for the additional crewmembers, the Russian Elektron was switched yesterday from 32-amp mode to 50-amp mode.   [The increased load required activation of a second SNT (voltage and current stabilizer/transformer) to provide additional power from the U.S. segment.  Elektron will remain in this mode until O2 level requires re-adjustment or until Expedition 7 departure.]

Upcoming Soyuz Events:

  • 6S hatch closure: 10/27 (Monday), 3:10pm Eastern.
  • 6S undocking: 6:20pm Eastern, 2:20am (10/28) Moscow;
  • 6S landing:  10/27 (Monday), 9:36pm Eastern, 5:36am (10/28) Moscow.

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:41pm EDT).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On, 50A.  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Manual Mode 5/3).  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is Operating.  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) — 27.6; ppO2 (mmHg) — 161.0; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 2.4.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 765; temperature (deg C) — 21.6.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 772; temperature (deg C) — 22.3.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 762.34; temperature (deg C) — 22.4 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 764.61; temperature (deg C) — 25.1; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 764.71; temperature (deg C) — 24.0; shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.0, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.4
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 15.8.

(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 (non-suntracking). 
  • SM batteries:  Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is off, still in slot #8; all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode (batteries #1 and #3 are degraded). 
  • FGB batteries:  Batteries #1 & #2 are 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): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational; string #2 dropped out 9/26.
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.

Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 3891 kg (8578 lb) as of 10/16  [SM(755) + FGB(2784) + 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: -6.9 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, 8:14am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 380.0 km
  • Apogee — 384.5 km
  • Perigee — 375.6 km
  • Period — 92.1 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006583
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.63
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 60 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 28074
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.