Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 Jul 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
July 23, 2003
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 Jul 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Day 90 in space for the Increment 7 crew.

Before breakfast and physical exercise, CDR Yuri Malenchenko and FE/SO Edward Lu conducted another round of the Russian crew health-monitoring program’s medical assessment MO-9/Urinalysis.  Tomorrow, the crew will complete the PHS (periodic health status) exam and perform the clinical evaluation.  After the sessions, Malenchenko stowed the equipment.  [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 PHS 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. ]

Both crewmembers then underwent the IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) assessment with blood labs, each one acting first as CMO (crew medical officer) and then being the examined subject.  Afterwards, Ed Lu completed data entry for both crewmembers and stowed the hardware.  [The PHS exam includes blood analysis with the PCBA (portable clinical blood analyzer), MO-10 (see above) and clinical evaluation, guided by special software (IFEP, in-flight examination program) on the medical equipment computer (MEC).  While PCBA analyzes total blood composition, MO-10 particularly measures the blood’s hematocrit.]

Completing the T+2d analysis of water samples collected on 7/21 from all three potable water ports with the WMK (water monitoring kit), Science Officer Lu entered the microbiological data in the MEC (medical equipment computer) and called them down to the ground.

The crew conducted the scheduled Soyuz descent training exercise, supported by a tagup with ground experts at TsUP/Moscow.  The Increment 7 crew will return on Soyuz 6S on 10/27, landing at 9:23pm EDT.  (Launch of 7S: 10/18, 1:37am EST; all dates prelim.)  [The training session included a review of the pertinent FDF (flight data files), specifically the books on Soyuz Ascent & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situation Procedures.]

Malenchenko completed the regular periodic (weekly) inspection of the BRPK-1 air/liquid condensate separator in the SM.

Both crewmembers performed their daily physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill, RED expander and CEVIS cycle ergometer.

Yuri also completed his regular daily inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment which researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-2 greenhouse.

Later, the CDR attended to the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system as well as the daily preparation of the IMS “delta” file, responding to specific stowage questions uplinked overnight, while the Science Officer performed the regular daily status checkup of autonomously running Lab payloads (PCG-STES010, SAMS, MAMS).

The Science Officer continued the planned week-long EMU (extravehicular mobility unit) battery maintenance activities.  [Today, discharge of batteries #2032 and #2033 in the BSA (battery stowage assembly) was terminated, and the batteries were allowed to cool down for one hour. Charge of EMU batteries #2029 and #2030 was then initiated.]

Ed and Yuri today also had their weekly conference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Kent Rominger) on their schedule.

TsUP/Moscow is continuing the checkout tests of the newly installed Russian ASN satellite navigation antenna system which has encountered technical problems.  The testing will be continued for the rest of this week,

Today’s CEO (crew earth observation) targets, no longer limited in the current LVLH attitude and including the targets of the Lewis & Clark 200-year memorial locations, were Jakarta, Indonesia (looking a touch right on the north side of Java.  This view angle may have revealed a large, coherent pollution plume that has been documented for the sister city of Surabaya. The ISS pass crossed the major volcano Krakatau, which appears in the strait between Java and Sumatra [as a group of four irregularly shaped islands — remnants of a single volcano which suffered explosive destruction in 416 AD and again in 1883 with the largest recorded explosion]), Typhoon Imbudo, Philippines (Dynamic event.  Looking left of track for this storm which is reduced to category 2 level after raking central Luzon. Low sun should enhance views of cloud structure), Patagonian Glaciers (relatively clear conditions. Looking for glaciers on the drier inland side), Congo-Zimbabwe Biomass Burning (ISS/CEO images have shown significant change in burn scar patterns over two decades [one such image is being prepared for website display]. Very wet recent summers have produced unusual savanna growth and hence flammable biomass.  A mapping swath of several half-oblique views across arid Zambia may reveal more such changes.  Since trees take years to grow to full size, burn scars of different age are one of the main controls of savanna plant structure over wide areas.  [Relative ages of burn scar are easy to determine by remote sensing.  Burn scars are also the dominant visual from low earth orbit in tropical Africa south of the Congo rainforests]), Kinshasa, Zaire (looking right, on the south side of the Congo River for this major capital city.  The crew’s visual cue was the great widening in the Congo River known as Stanley Pool, with Kinshasa on the south shore), Buenos Aires, Argentina (good panorama of the entire urban system [combined population of more than 14 million], mainly on the south shore of the estuary known as the River Plate), Ed’s Hill, New Zealand (nadir pass.  Looking on the coast), Lake Poopo, Bolivia (looking a touch right for this major ecology site. Lake levels are the feature of interest), and La Paz, Bolivia (looking a touch left for the city which lies on the cliff-like edge of the high Andean plateau).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

SpaceRef staff editor.