Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 Nov 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
November 25, 2003
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 Nov 2003

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

After wakeup (1:00am EST), morning chores and breakfast, CDR/SO Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri completed the regular 3-hr. Saturday task of station cleaning.

Kaleri conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system. [Besides general inspection of pipes and joints, this task included replacement of the containers for solid waste (KTO), flush water (EDV-SV), urine (EDV-U) and waste (KBO) as well as of the CWC (collapsible water container) collecting the water for the Elektron oxygen (O2) generator system.]
The crew had their weekly planning conference with the ground via S-band to discuss next week’s “Look-Ahead Plan” (regularly prepared jointly by MCC-H and MCC-M planners and uplinked ahead of time).

Mike Foale called down the O2 partial pressure of the cabin air. [“Ad hoc” O2 data are collected twice daily with the U.S. CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) for trending analyses by the ground and reported to the ground.]

Sasha Kaleri conducted his weekly PFC (private family conference), via VHF (Russian: UKV).

The crew worked out according to their regular daily physical exercise program of 2.5 hrs on the CEVIS bike (aerobic) and RED exerciser (anaerobic). Since the Russian VELO is currently down, Sasha too is using the CEVIS for his exercising.

The TVIS treadmill, a critical element of crew health maintenance, continues to be “no go”, after it was determined that a bearing problem of the gyroscope (which stabilizes the treadmill in the roll axis as part of the system isolating TVIS dynamics from the station structure), could lead to irreparable damage of the treadmill. The current plan is to restore TVIS exercise without the gyroscope. [To explore this contingency use, structural vibration data will be collected with the IWIS (interim wireless instrumentation system) while exercising on TVIS in different operational configurations with the gyroscope off, but stabilized with a handrail. It is planned to accommodate these activities on next Monday’s timeline (11/24), after relocation of an IWIS accelerometer from the Lab to the SM near TVIS, and performance of a fit check with the TVIS handrail (to determine the best potential configurations for no-gyro exercise and evaluate possible interference with the SM table and table handrail). It is anticipated that these trial sessions will investigate five configurations using the SM handrails, possibly TVIS handrail, SPDs (subject positioning devices) and “crew choice” configurations. Video will be recorded to correlate with IWIS and SAMS (space acceleration measurement system) data. Details are to be discussed with the crew tomorrow.]

The replacement of the FGB battery #2’s current converter (PTAB) with its control device (BUPT) on 11/21 was due to off-nominal behavior of the BUPT during the times when the battery was removed from the set of the other five 800A units for cycling. [This was the second time a BUPT has failed in this manner (the first time was during early FGB operations). Moscow would very much like to bring the device back for check-out, but due to downmass constraints this is currently not possible.]

MCC-Moscow today continued the long-duration testing of the Russian ASN-2401 satellite navigation antenna system, which has been having problems for the last several months. [Using GLONASS satellites (the Russian equivalent of GPS), the ASN, when functioning, will allow state vector (SV) updates without using the ground (which up to now has to uplink daily SV updates) or requiring SV transfers from the USOS from time to time. The ASN equipment was originally installed in the SM but was found faulty and had to be returned to the ground. After repair it was shipped again to the station on Progress 11P and re-installed by Yuri Malenchenko on 7/8/03.]

Specialists at MCC-Houston are working on troubleshooting the Internet Phone (IP), which allows ISS crewmembers to place telephone calls to anywhere in the world. [Since the implementation of the capability for the crew to place such calls concurrently, there have been problems when simultaneous calls were attempted. Steps are being developed to verify that the ground system is causing the anomaly.]

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Eight — 4th):

GASMAP:   Continuing.

Human Research Facility/Workstation (HRF WS):   Continuing.

Advanced Ultrasound:   Planned.

Hand Posture Analyzer (HPA):  Next session is planned for mid-increment, and a third late in the increment.

In-Space Soldering Investigation (ISSE):  Planned.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI):   Hardware preparations next week will set up for science activities through the start of the new year running eight samples over six weeks.

Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS):   Continuing. 

Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS):   MAMS continues to measure the quasi-steady (below 1 Hz) acceleration environment using the OSS sensor. HiRAP telemetry downlink is enabled and will remain active assessing the general higher frequency microgravity environment through the weekend and next week.   

Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES):  Behaving nominally.

Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions (InSPACE):    Planned.

Renal Stone:   Thanks to the crew for documenting the UCD hardware failure for Renal Stone. The pictures will hopefully give an idea of what caused the anomaly in orbit and help determine some corrective actions to prevent it from happening again. Next scheduled Renal Stone activity is at the beginning of next year..

Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SHERES):   Planned.

Foot (Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight):   Thanks to Mike Foale for his ” sewing talents” and his willingness to alter the LEMS Pants. The second pair is scheduled for alteration next week. The ground team hopes he found the EMG calibration dry run beneficial in preparing for Foot Ops (scheduled the week following Thanksgiving).

Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE):  In progress. Deployed outside. Nominal and collecting data.

Cellular Biotechnology Support Systems-Fluid Dynamics Investigation (CBOSS-FDI):  The CBOSS team has downloaded the images taken by Mike Foale this week. The PI hopes to have them analyzed by early next week to let Mike know the results of the “gap” issue.

Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM):  Next session is planned mid-Increment and another late in the Increment.

Earth Science Toward Exploration Research (ESTER):  Currently there are two sessions planned, one in December and another early in the year.

Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2):  Planned.

Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA):   Completed.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO):  Looking forward to another educational experience next week with a demo titled Radiators. This demonstration will be used to produce a video program for students in grades 5 through 8 that will provide an explanation of how temperature is controlled inside the ISS. A second activity titled Earth Views will be used to produce an educational video program that shows how ISS crewmembers view and photograph the Earth.

Crew Earth Observation (CEO):  An excellent image taken 11/2 of the smog event over the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California is being published on NASA’s Earth Observatory website this weekend. The ground has reviewed good ISS imagery of the Patagonian Glaciers target area and while fresh context views can be useful, investigators are looking forward to 400 & 800mm lens views of details of the glacier features, especially for the hard-to-see smaller glaciers on the west coast. A fascinating bonus shot from the ISS while crossing Patagonia was a pan to the south toward the Antarctic Peninsula. The crew caught part of the South Shetland Islands with the retreating Antarctic Ice Pack. Photographs locating the ice pack relative to recognized land features are quite rare.

Today’s optional CEO targets, limited in the current XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Tropical cyclone, W Pacific (Dynamic event. Big, late-season tropical cyclone expected to become a major typhoon in the next few days. The storm is moving west and is expected to threaten the southern Philippines. Looking left about 2.5 degrees for the eye), Cyclone Beni, Indian Ocean (Dynamic event. This small category 1 storm is well formed, heading towards Madagascar. Looking left of track about 2 degrees), Congo-Zimbabwe Biomass Burning (Southern bulge of Mozambique has late-season burning. These fires are following the seasonal pattern of eastward migration, from Angola early in the dry season to Mozambique and Madagascar late in the season), Sudanese swamplands, SE Sudan (Dynamic event. Sunglint mapping swath was requested for ~2 minutes. This is one of the most poorly mapped parts of the world: major rivers drain towards the Nile from the Ethiopian Highlands, creating vast swamplands that are really far larger than the better known Sudd Swamps of the White Nile. Heavy August rains provide a good opportunity to identify major and minor drainage lines, a level of information that geologists still lack), and Fires in West Africa (Dynamic event. Looking left and right for savanna burning as the dry season sets in. Obliques are preferred. Crew was asked to capture any major smoke palls).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 7:55am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude  374.7 km
  • Apogee — 378.6 km
  • Perigee — 370.8 km
  • Period — 92.0 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005809
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.64
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 120 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 28575
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.