Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 Aug 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
August 23, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 Aug 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  First of two weekend rest days for CDR Yuri Malenchenko and FE/SO Ed Lu.

After breakfast (2:40am EDT), the crew performed the weekly 3-hr. housecleaning.  [This includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, wet cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table and other surfaces with “Fungistat” disinfectant and cleaning fan screens to avoid temperature rises.]
Malenchenko completed the daily routine maintenance of the SM SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities), while Ed Lu prepared the daily IMS delta file for automatic export/import to update the database.

Both crewmembers completed their daily physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill, RED resistive expander and VELO cycle with load trainer.

Yesterday’s Progress 10P fuel line purge was completed successfully.

Another RPC (remote power controller) tripped yesterday, this time RPC1 in a Node RPCM (RPC module 13B-C), which controls a Node light.  Troubleshooting steps are being undertaken over the weekend.  [Shortly after the trip occurred, the RPCM experienced a POR (power-on reset) which opened the remaining RPCs within the RPCM.  Loads affected in the Node include two forward IMV (intermodular ventilation) valves, the forward IMV fan, and the aft emergency light.  There is no indication of increased current draw and the leading theory for the cause is failure of a hybrid FET (field effect transistor).]

Yesterday the prime IAC-2 (internal audio controller #2) transitioned to IAC-1, which later switched back to IAC-2.  Audio FDIR (failure detection, isolation, and recovery) was inhibited.  The audio loops were configured back to their nominal configuration with audio FDIR enabled.  [Error faults occurred on several audio ORUs (orbit replaceable units). The error buffers were dumped and cleared.  The audio system experienced a similar transition on 5/20.]
Both P6 BGAs (beta gimbal assemblies) are now back in Dual Angle (“blind”) Mode and operating nominally.

The crew was thanked for their work on yesterday’s PAO events which showed excellent preparation and great “welcoming spirit aboard Alpha”, making recipients feel like they are part of the mission. 

The crew was also thanked for yesterday’s successful PFMI (Pore Formation & Mobility Investigation) science run and their preceding efforts.  Data and log files were successfully retrieved by the ground.

As part of the Russian Uragan earth imaging program, ISS is assisting in the on-going search for a missing MI-6 helicopter carrying the Governor of Sakhalin Island.  Malenchenko was to use the Kodak DCS760 digital camera with 400-mm lens to photograph any locations that may tentatively qualify as the helicopter’s landing or crash site in the area where the accident is presumed to have happened.  [The search is conducted along a line connecting two largest lakes in the area, viz., Lake Tolmachevskoye (located 50 km SW of the city of Petropavlovsk) and Lake Kurilskoye (at the extreme south of the Kamchatka Peninsula).  Both lakes are emptied by rivers flowing westward toward the ocean, and volcano chains are located on either side of the line connecting the lakes. The helicopter’s flight path had probably followed the river valleys.]

Other targets for today’s Uragan observations were Western European cities, the Aral Sea, Jarkuduk, Kabul, Budapest, Baghdad, Kuwait City and the W coast of Iran.

Working off the Russian task list, Malenchenko also conducted another session of the Diatomeya research program, using the Nikon F5 with f/80 mm lens to observe sea bloom features and cloud cover anomalies in the first S branch of the Gulf Stream and the NW coastal waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

MCC-Moscow is continuing testing of the Russian segment (RS) TV system interface unit (TMO), with the objective to assess the system’s capability for downlinking large file sizes similar to the capability of the U.S.OCA/Ku-band configuration.

Facility/ground systems specialists at MCC-H have been keeping quite busy this weekend.  In the evening of 8/21 ISS command software was upgraded (step-up ISS218, cycle J.05) to support new PPLs (pre-positioned load) files for the S0 segment MDM and the GNC (guidance, navigation & control), followed on 8/22 by a checkout of the LSOS (limited station operations support) mode to verify proper config before the actual swing from nominal operations to LSOS later that day in support of software regression testing.  Today, ISS operations moved from LSOS back to standard configuration, preceded by an another preparatory procedural checkout.  On 8/22, MCC-H and NASA personnel at MCC-M also performed another successful BCC (backup control center) test, to demonstrate BCC functionality and provide proficiency training for HSR (Houston Support Room) staff.  [These tests are performed monthly to verify that should a major contingency arise at MCC-H, the BCC will be available.  The tests verify successful receipt and execution of commands uplinked to ISS USOS (US segment) from BCC, involving PPCP (preplanned command packet) transmission and real-time command uplink, as well as telemetry (station parameter transmittal) functionality.]

Upcoming Progress Events:

  • 10P undocking:  8/27 (Wednesday), 6:49pm EDT
  • 10P deorbit burn (103.9 m/s):  8/27, 9:55-9:58pm
  • 10P entry interface:  8/27, 10:28pm
  • 12P launch:  8/28 (Thursday), 9:48pm
  • 12P docking:  8/30 (Saturday), 11:43pm
  • 11P undocking: 9/4, 3:41pm (preliminary). 


Weekly Science Update (Expedition Seven — 16th):
GASMAP:   The 30-day health check for July was completed successfully.  Next 30-day check is scheduled for next week.: mid-August.
Human Research Facility/Workstation (HRF WS):   Continuing.

Ultrasound (USND):  Next Ultrasound session is planned for mid-September.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI):  The team is looking forward to the next experiment scheduled for 8/26.

Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS):  SAMS has been offline since 7/31 (3:21pm EDT) and a troubleshooting plan has been developed.  SAMS is eagerly awaiting planned laptop swap out on 8/26.

Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS):  MAMS continues to measure the quasi-steady acceleration environment.  The effects of propellant line purge were captured on 8/19.  Looking forward to 10P undocking.  HiRAP is capturing data in the vibratory regime while SAMS is down..

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

Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions (InSPACE):   Current test matrix is complete.

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

Cellular Biotechnology Support Systems (CBOSS):  CBOSS-FDI investigation will be scheduled sometime after 12P docking.

Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM):  Activities are completed for Increment 7.

Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2):  Activities have been concluded for this Expedition.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO):  There has been great interest in the tools demonstration footage.  Education is looking forward to additional activities.

Crew Earth Observation (CEO):  A beautifully detailed CEO image of Austin, TX is being published on Earth Observatory this weekend.  Investigators were also pleased to confirm good images of two Lewis & Clark targets:  Great Falls, MT, and Fort Manuel, SD.  ISS got an excellent, related view of twin cities of Lewiston, ID and Clarkston, WA on the Snake River.  Both the sharpness and the composition of CEO photos have shown dramatic improvement along with the crew’s use of sun glint and shadows to enhance features.

Today’s optional CEO (crew earth observation) targets, including cities during daylight and at night in the current LVLH attitude and also including the targets of the Lewis & Clark 200-year memorial locations, were Kabul, Afghanistan (pointing left of track), Tigris-Euphrates, Turkey (good pass over the infrastructure developments in the mountains of southern Turkey.  Looking left and right), Hanging Gardens of Babylon (pointing 35 km south of Baghdad, directly under track.  King Nebuchadnezzar II is credited with building the gardens (~570-590 BC), Kuwait City, Kuwait (pointing right of track), Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes (status of the lakes at this point in the year is of interest in our long-term documentation of these sites.  The seven years of high flow in the Nile, the basis of developments in southern Egypt, will presumably end sooner rather than later), Missouri R. sites (LEWIS & CLARK SITES:  A cluster of sites lies along the river, all right of track.  Shooting nadir and near obliques rightward), Lisbon, Portugal (nadir pass), and Washington, D.C. (good views of Chesapeake Bay from the southern end).
Selected CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this afternoon,1:38pm EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 383.2 km
  • Apogee  388.2 km
  • Perigee — 378.1 km
  • Period — 92.22 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0007455
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.61
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 120 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 27155
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.