Status Report

NASA Space Station On-orbit Status 26 Dec 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
December 26, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-orbit Status 26 Dec 2003

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

CDR/SO Michael Foale, assisted by FE Alexander Kaleri, completed the workaround repair of the CMRS (crew medical restraint system) outlined on 12/23, dealing with two issues: (1) a buckle on the shoulder harness strap had to be modified to ensure proper buckle engagement in an emergency; (2) micro fractures (cracks) on the CMRS board were covered with Kapton tape to protect against possible high-voltage defibrillation ground paths from the patient to ISS structure.  [The ironing-board-like CHeCS (crew health care systems) CMRS allows strapping down a patient with a harness for medical attention by the CMO (crew medical officer).  The CMRS can be secured to the ISS structure within two minutes to provide a patient restraint surface for performing emergency medical procedures, such as during ACLS (advanced cardiac life support).  It can also be used to transport a patient between the station and the Orbiter middeck.  It isolates the crew and equipment electrically during defibrillations and pacing electrical discharges, accommodates the patient in the supine zero-G positions, provides cervical spine stabilization and, for a three-person crew, can also restrain two CMOs (crew medical officers) during their delivery of medical care.]

Alex Kaleri worked on the battery #8 in the Service Module (SM), one of eight such 800A storage units, which has been in capacity restoration (ROM) for several weeks and in testing since 12/23.  [Today, Kaleri ended the testing period by demating all connectors, using the MMTs-01 “Elektronika” multimeter to measure voltage downstream of the battery between pins, capping all connectors and closing SM panel 430, after reporting the voltage to TsUP/Moscow.]

Mike Foale conducted the standard 1-hr. inspection and servicing of the food warmers in the galley (located in the SM).  [He paid particular attention to the loose silicone noted on the thermostat wires during the last inspection (9/26), the absence of which is acceptable as long as the Teflon insulation remains intact.  Food warmers, food trays, utensils, etc., are part of the food preparation hardware of the CSS (crew support systems).  The food warmers are in recessed wells in the galley table that also has crew and equipment restraints.  Besides the galley, the wardroom area also includes a potable water dispenser (for hot and ambient water for drink and food hydration), a trash container, and two refrigerators.]

Sasha used the CDMK (carbon dioxide monitoring kit) to take the weekly reading of the cabin air’s CO2 partial pressure, for calldown to the ground (along with the battery status) for use in trending analyses.  The CDMK was then restowed at the SM Central Post.

Kaleri also conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system, including the weekly inspection of the BRPK liquid/air separator, and prepared the daily IMS (inventory management system) “delta” file for automatic export/import to update the database.  Mike Foale attended to the regular routine payload status checkup in the Lab, currently for the PCG-STES010 (protein crystal growth-single locker enclosure system).

Kaleri had four hours reserved to continue the lengthy and demanding task of transferring excessed equipment to Progress 12P, with IMS support, and loading it onboard according to previously uplinked instructions.

The FE also conducted the weekly 15-min. tagup with IMS (inventory management system) specialists at MCC-M, discussing open issues concerning identification and location of some items, such as the current location of the BTA heat exchanger block removed from the SKV-2 on 12/17 and other stowage aspects.

Foale reviewed today’s procedures for the long-awaited resumption of CBOSS-FDI  (Cellular Biotechnology Operations Support System/Fluid Dynamics Investigation) activities on the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), then completed the first session, with ground specialists standing by for support.  [Mike used a 10mL syringe for injecting experimental particles in the A1 TCM (tissue culture module), then did the expansion-and-compression (push- pull) ops on TCM A2.]

The Science Officer held a scheduled HRF (human research facility) conference with PI Peggy Whitson and other specialists at MCC-H, to discuss the NASA/JSC Renal (kidney) Stone experiment, which the crew is supporting.

The crew worked out on TVIS, RED exerciser and VELO cycle with load trainer.

As every week, Mike transferred data files from the physical exercise equipment to the MEC (medical equipment computer) via memory card and RED log entries, for downlink on OCA comm.  Later, he completed the periodic transfer of accumulated data files from the wristband HRM (heart rate monitor) receiver stations to the MEC for downlink, then deleting them on the HRM.  

CDR Michael Foale signed in and performed his second test session with the psychological MedOps WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool) experiment.  [This is a time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmember’s or flight surgeon’s request.]

After handover of attitude control authority from U.S. to Russian segment MCS (motion control system) at 9:45am EST and switching the P6 solar array wings to Autotrack, the ISS maneuvered from LVLH YVV (local vertical/local horizontal y-axis in velocity vector) to the solar-oriented XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) attitude.  Return to LVLH is scheduled next week on 1/1/04.  [The maneuvers are executed with gimbal rates on the U.S. control moment gyros (CMGs) being minimized, after CMG-3, on 11/8 exhibited a previously unobserved vibration.  The direct cause of this is not understood yet, but the precautionary measure of limiting the gimbal rates associated with desaturations is less stressful on the CMG bearings and may aid in mitigating the vibration-causing mechanism.]

For today’s CEO (crew earth observations) sessions, the ground provided a list of target cities as potential photographic opportunities at the crew’s discretion.

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 7:09am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 370.4 km
  • Apogee — 374.5 km
  • Perigee — 366.4 km
  • Period — 91.9 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006018
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.66
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 95
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 29107
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.