Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 Dec 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
December 24, 2003
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 Dec 2003

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

Early in the morning, right after wakeup (1:00am EST), CDR/SO Michael Foale took the 24-hr. readings of the three acoustic dosimeters deployed yesterday in the Service Module (SM), recorded the data in the computer and stowed the hardware.

FE Alexander Kaleri performed the periodic recharge of the Motorola-9505 Iridium telephone’s lithium-ion battery.  [For safety, before powering up the recharge unit, the telephone, as before, was placed into a single CTB (crew transfer bag), which then was placed inside a triple CTB.  The charging was monitored every 30 minutes without taking the satphone out of the containment.  Upon completion, Kaleri removed the phone, placed it inside its SSSP Iridium kit and stowed it back in the Soyuz TMA-3 descent module’s operational data files container.]

The crew conducted the first part of a more extensive inventorying exercise in the Node, reviewing and consolidating onboard crew clothing, supported by the IMS (inventory management system).  [Purpose of this activity, estimated at requiring ~10 hrs. crewtime, is to take bags of clothing currently labeled for crewmembers of Expedition 5, 6 & 7 and consolidate them into fewer bags, with the goal of (a) reducing the number of CTBs used for crew clothing, and (b) obtaining an accurate clothing inventory to assist in manifesting less clothing for future increments.  Typical clothing items are Nomex trousers & shorts, various types of socks, underwear, T-shirts, handkerchiefs, athletic running shorts, etc.]

Kaleri completed the periodic air sampling in the Russian segment (RS), first using the IPD Draeger tubes sampler in the SM to collect samples for testing for CO (carbon monoxide), then sampling the SM and FGB air with the standard Russian AK-1M equipment.  In follow-up to the recent Khladon coolant drainage from the SKV-2 air conditioner, he also used the AK-1M-F to test the SM atmosphere for Freon.

To allow Sasha to make a cable connection from the VTK2 fan of the inoperative SKV-2 air conditioner to a circuit breaker (AP6), MCC-Moscow temporarily deactivated the SKV-1 and Elektron systems, disabled VD-SU onboard equipment control mode and turned off the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry system.  Subsequently, all systems were commanded back on.

The CDR completed his sixth weekly filling out of the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), which keeps a log of his nutritional intake over time on the MEC (medical equipment computer). [Last time done: 12/2.]

After MAMS (microgravity acceleration measurement system) was turned off by the ground, Mike performed the periodic cleaning of its filter screens, a 30-min. task requiring tools for locker removal/installation and sticky gray tape.  The system was subsequently commanded back on.

Kaleri conducted the daily routine maintenance of SOZh life support systems (including toilet facility, food containers, water containers and solid waste containers) and the preparation of the daily IMS (inventory management system) update file, while the CDR attended to the regular status checkup of Increment 8 payloads running in the Lab.

The crewmembers worked out according to their regular daily physical exercise program of 2.5 hrs on the TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser, and VELO bike (with load trainer).

At dinnertime, as every day, the crew supported the Renal Stone prevention experiment by taking the test medication (either potassium citrate or placebo tablets) until the next sample collection phase early in 2004.

TsUP/Moscow conducted more of the long-term troubleshooting of the inoperative Russian ASN-2401 satellite navigation antenna system, which has an apparent disconnect to its A76 antenna subsystem.

TsUP continued the extended performance test of SM battery #8, for which it again deactivated the charge/discharge unit ZRU-8, turning on a ZRU-8 “mask” instead.

Ground-commanded testing of hardware and software of the new KOU advanced operative control complex at TsUP, started yesterday with the KURS system, also continued, using the Progress 12P vehicle.   [This again required temporary transfer of active yaw & pitch thruster control from the Progress to the SM.]

Following yesterday’s removal and replacement (R&R) of the Russian SRVK-2M condensate water processor’s multifiltration unit (BKO), the attempted restart of the SKV-1 air conditioner failed.  Today, after the crew performed troubleshooting and re-established water flow between the EDV water “bucket” and the KTV non-potable water container, the compressor functioned nominally.  It was then turned off for the SKV-2 cable installation (see above).  [Suspected cause was initial contamination of the water coming out of the BKO (quite normal after an R&R).  The SRVK-rejected water was routed to a KTV, which, however, was already full, thus causing the shutdown of the SKV-1 compressor.  After the crew selected a second KTV, SKV-1 shut down once more since there was no water in the system as yet.  This has been seen before during Increment 5.]

A complete list of U.S. items slated for disposal in Progress 12P in January is currently being prepared and should be available shortly after the New Year.

No CEO targets uplinked for today.

Today, in celebration of Christmas, the crew’s downlinked message will be on NASA TV at 3:00pm EST. 

Tomorrow, Mike Foale and Sasha Kaleri will enjoy Christmas Day as traditional as it can be off world, enjoying a special ration of smoked turkey saved up just for the occasion.  They have Velcro ornaments, a space- & mass-saving Nomex Christmas tree and a large selection of the greatest Christmas songs and instrumentals ever beamed up to orbit (via MP3).  Of course, they also have special Christmas stockings, filled by Santa before they left Earth, with treats and gifts from families and friends.  Tomorrow, they will see and speak with their families via a video linkup and with NASA Administrator O’Keefe.  On the ground, flight control & experiment investigator teams in Houston, TX, Huntsville, AL., and Moscow, Russia, will observe Christmas with the crew in a festive mood.  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Conjunction Alert:  A close encounter of the ISS with an object in polar orbit coming from the North is predicted for tonight. [Further details of the conjunction are being worked out with NORAD/SpaceCommand.  Early indications are that the object is a reindeer-drawn sleigh.  There will be no avoidance maneuver, for sure.]

For more on Christmas in Space, see

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:11pm EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On.  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 Off: SKV-2 is Off.

  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 25.5; ppO2 (mmHg) — 146.1; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 2.5
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 19.5.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 752; temperature (deg C) — 22.7.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 745.16; temperature (deg C) — 23.6 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 747.05; temperature (deg C) — 25.1; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 748.15; temperature (deg C) — 24.5; shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.4, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.4
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 12.0

(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, “night glider”/”sun slicer” drag reduction mode). 
  • SM batteries:  Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is still disconnected in slot #8 for troubleshooting; all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #5 is off (capacity restoration mode, ROM); 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-1 MDM is prime, C&C-2 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 1 dropped out 11/22).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string #3 dropped out 10/22).

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available:3680 kg (8113 lb) as of 12/11/03 [SM (755) + FGB (2573) + 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:

  • LVLH  YVV (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, y-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -89.9 deg, pitch: -8.9 deg, roll: 1.8 deg]), with CMG/TA (thruster assist) Momentum Management.

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-1 is prime, IAC-2 is off).
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • HCOR (high-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 based at MBS PDGF #1/LEE B, 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, 7:36am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 370.6 km
  • Apogee — 374.8 km
  • Perigee — 366.5 km
  • Period — 92.0 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006198
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.66
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 110
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 29076
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.