Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 Jul 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
July 24, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 Jul 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Day 91 in space for the Increment 7 crew.

CDR Yuri Malenchenko and FE/SO Ed Lu set up and reviewed the DOUG (dynamic operations ubiquitous graphics) software version for tomorrow’s SSRMS/Robotics operations.  [DOUG is a periodically updated software program on the MSS (mobile service system) laptops that provides a birdseye-view graphical image of the external station configuration and the SSRMS (space station remote manipulator system) arm, showing its real-time location and configuration on a laptop during its operation.  The purpose of tomorrow’s (7/25) Robotics ops is to demonstrate the end-to-end functionality of SSRMS motion control from the ground.  Currently, the ground cannot initiate joint or LEE (latching end effector) mechanism motion; those commands can only be sent from the DCP (display & control panel).  Work has begun at CSA and NASA to develop the software modifications required to enable the ground to issue commands to initiate motion.  The operations planned for tomorrow are intended to demonstrate how the ground would execute a series of SSRMS operations (free space positioning and grapple/release) using auto modes only.  In addition, it provides an opportunity to go through the pre-planning effort for ground control to gauge any additional workload and any changes required in the way procedures are developed and verified.  The results of the demo will be used to make recommendations to the NASA and CSA programs in early August on the feasibility of the proposed concept, any required software changes, and modifications to the ground tools to support SSRMS motion control from the ground.]

During a Russian ground site (RGS) pass, at 8:15am EDT, Malenchenko performed his fourth session with the Russian MedOps cardio experiment MO-1 (study of the bioelectric activity of the heart at rest), with Ed Lu assisting as CMO (crew medical officer).  [During the test, transmittal of the Gamma-1M ECG (electrocardiogram) signal to the ground was required for about 5-6 minutes.]

Yuri also performed 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, he copied the accumulated photo/data files to a floppy diskette for transfer to the Russian laptop 3 and subsequent downlink via Regul-Packet.   [The experimental seeds of two types of peas (a flagellate variety with reds flowers, up to 27 cm high, and an acacia-leaf variety with white flowers ,up to 20 cm high) are planted between wicks in a root tray, with environmental control powered on.  Regular daily maintenance of the experiment involves monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording.]

Assisted by the IMS (inventory management system), the crew had 1.5 hrs. scheduled to transfer discarded equipment to 10P/Progress M1-10 for stowage for deorbit later this year.

Moscow continues to troubleshoot the failed Klest-140ST-M television camera mounted externally on the SM aft end, pointing rearward (+X direction for SM).  Upon activation during a routine check some time ago, the electric circuit blew a fuse.  According to Moscow, the potential need to manufacture a new camera lends urgency to this activity.  [Malenchenko’s task today was another continuity check of the Klest cable network and connectors with the Electronica multimeter (MMTs-01), measuring electrical resistance between cable connector pins, later reporting results to MCC-M.]

The CDR performed the periodic functional closure test of the Vozdukh CO2 removal system’s emergency vacuum valves (AVK, last time done: 7/18).  [The AVKs are critical because they close the Vozdukh’s vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA).  Access to vacuum is required to vent carbon dioxide during the regeneration of the absorbent cartridges (PP).  During nominal operation, the AVK valves remain open.]

Ed Lu continued the on-going week-long EMU (extravehicular mobility unit) battery maintenance activities.  [Today, charging of batteries #2029 and #2030 in the BSA (battery stowage assembly) was terminated, and the batteries were allowed to cool down for one hour.   Next step will be start of their discharge.]

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 questions on stowage locations uplinked two days ago.

At 9:15am EDT, Yuri and Ed participated in a 10-min. exchange via ARISS ham radio system with students at the Brussels Planetarium in Brussels, Belgium.  [The Brussels Planetarium is a scientific institution offering Space and Astronomy tuition to schools and general public.  Teenagers, members of the nearby MIRA amateur astronomers society, asked questions uplinked beforehand.]

Later, at 10:25am, Ed Lu and Yuri Malenchenko downlinked a television message to Ed’s university fraternity, via Ku- and S-band.

The crew also performed their regular daily exercise regimen on TVIS, CEVIS, and RED.

The crew has been having troubles with the printer in the Service Module (SM).  After diagnostic analysis of the crew’s comments, the ground has uplinked recommendations for troubleshooting.  Meanwhile, the Lab printer is working OK.

A new task placed on Malenchenko’s Russian task list, to be worked at his disposition, is a checkout of the “Shumomer” sound measuring equipment.  [After downlink of the noise recordings of 7/16, it was noticed that the file is missing the third-octave spectra, which must be included in the file when transferring the data to the laptop.  Possible causes include (1) the file was not selected for copying to Laptop 3; or (2) a noise meter malfunction.  Yuri’s task is to check out option 2.]

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 Typhoon Imbudo, China (Dynamic event. Large eye close to nadir.  Imbudo is a minimal category 3 storm [with CEO target sites Macau and Guangzhou on the wet side]), Cape Town, South Africa (nadir pass.  Probably cloud free.  Recent detailed CEO views of the complex coastline around Cape Town showed the vast shanty town of Khayelitsha, east of Cape Town’s city center facing south onto False Bay [this bay has confused mariners from Asia for centuries as being close to, but not Table Bay].  Cape Town lies on the north-facing slopes of Table Mountain, with Table Bay opening to the north [the docks of Table Bay are the visual cue]. A small island far out in this bay is Robben Island, now a tourist destination, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for many years), Johannesburg, South Africa (pass over this central city in the 150-mile long line of Witwatersrand cities.  Looking left and right for panoramas of the metro region.  Numerous bright patches are “mine dumps”, vast spoil heaps of crushed rock from the last 120 years of gold mining in this largest gold field on earth.  The oldest mine dumps are being re-mined for gold that remains from the early days of less efficient gold extraction), Eastern Mediterranean Dust and Smog (lower visibility reported for Beirut, right of track.  Low sun illumination and oblique views towards the Lebanese coast are ideal for imaging any dust/smog in the air), Patagonian Glaciers (views should remain clear on the dry inland side of the southern Andes.  Views of Patagonia under snow can be very dramatic in winter’s low light), Southern Amazon Basin (Dynamic event.  This is the clearest time of year for the southern rainforest.  Sun glint opportunity [with a large glint disc] left of track for river patterns.  The ground is writing up the crew’s recent detailed views of the highly sinuous Beni River in Bolivia’s Amazon lowlands where some major local changes in river pattern were detected), Lower Amazon River Basin (looking left of track.  Wider context views of this remote region are appreciated in any images the crew captures), and Lima, Peru (coastal fog should have burned off by the time of this nadir pass).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

SpaceRef staff editor.