Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 Nov 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
November 27, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 Nov 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  The crew had a restful Thanksgiving Day on board.

CDR Michael Foale initiated a procedure for recharging the battery of the electrical scopemeters “Hank” and “Natalie” in the Service Module (SM) using the SMPA (SM power adapter) battery charger connected with US cables to the Russian power system. [The SMPA transforms the Russian 28 volts direct current to 12VDC for the battery.  The charging procedure extends over three days, with one day for each scopemeter.]

In preparation for the upcoming PFMI (Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation) operation, for which the Science Officer will tomorrow install the experiment hardware in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), Mike today reviewed the procedures to familiarize himself with setting up PFMI within the MSG work volume.

The crew completed their daily 2.5-h program of physical exercise (aerobic & anaerobic) on CEVIS bike, RED expander and on the Russian VELO cycle ergometer with load trainer.

FE Alexander Kaleri completed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities). 

CDR Foale had his PFC (private family conference) today, via S-band (audio) and Ku-band (video).

At 9:37am EST this morning, NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe was scheduled to hold a Thanksgiving teleconference with the station crew.

TVIS Update:  Crew instructions have been developed for conducting passive TVIS treadmill exercise without the entire VIS (vibration isolation system), i.e., roll-axis-stabilizing gyroscope and pitch/yaw stabilizers.  At this time, the plan is awaiting Russian concurrence, and expectations are that by tomorrow afternoon the Go can be given to resume TVIS exercise sessions, using the new procedure until further notice.  [Necessary preparations by the crew include magnet removal to use the SPDs (subject positioning devices) in “outrigger” mode, unstowing bungee cords and clips, readying the tie-down harness, verification of no damage to SPD hooks or blue rubber, placing a protective pad between SPD hook/bungee assembly and the SM floor, verify no foreign objects on belt, verify no noise when belt moves, etc.  Instructions were also uplinked for video recording of the first TVIS exercise sessions, which requires removal of the protective skirt for systems accessibility below the treads.  When TVIS is operated without the skirt, the potential exists for hazardous floating foreign objects/debris (FOD), requiring the crew to put on protective eyewear and face mask.]

Noise Update:  As reported yesterday, the crew reported an unusual sound in the SM at 2:59am EST, which they described as a “whumping sound” similar to when a thin sheet of metal is shaken.  Nothing amiss has been found as yet, and analysis is continuing.  [At the time, the crew was in the SM near panel 235 (one of the crew cabins), and the sound came from slightly above and aft of their position, seemingly from the SM’s outside.  Moscow checked the Russian systems and found all of them working nominally.  Cabin pressure remained unchanged.  TsUP also confirmed that there were no thruster firings at that time (note: there is a Kurs antenna and an Orlan/Tranzit antenna in that general area, which are usually off and have not been checked).  U.S. Flight Controllers noticed that the SM PCS (portable computer system) disconnected two minutes after the noise (3:01 am).  Since the periscope on Progress 12P cannot see the area in question, the crew yesterday, in their presleep period, set up the MSS (mobile service system) for a video inspection of the SM’s zenith side with the tip elbow camera of the robot arm.  The video, downlinked at 3:27pm, showed nothing unusual at first glance.  It was provided to Moscow today for analysis. (The initial MER report that the U.S. CMGs at the time of the noise event showed a disturbance was erroneous; all three gyroscopes were within normal CMG operation).]

Today’s optional CEO targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, wereMekong River Delta (this large, agricultural delta lied just left of track as ISS approached from the SW.  Investigators are monitoring this system for change expected as major dams and water control structures in the Mekong River watershed near completion),Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam(this megacity and port also lied just left of track),Angolan Biomass Burning(with the steady offshore wind field continuing, the crew was to look obliquely left of track for smoke and aerosol plumes moving westward with good contract over the darker sea surface),Patagonian Glaciers(weather conditions remained less than ideal for this pass.  However, this may have been the last ISS pass for awhile over this target region.  The crew was asked for long lens views of details of the smaller glaciers),Bamako, Mali (the crew had a nadir pass in fair weather over the teeming Mali capital situated on the upper Niger River), andBahamas(fair weather should hold over the eastern end of this archipelago. Trying for nadir views of details of the coral reef structures).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

SpaceRef staff editor.