Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 Aug 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
August 28, 2003
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 Aug 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  The crew had a light-duty day, in view of the approaching busy weekend.

10P/Progress M-47 undocking (6:48pm EDT), sep burn and deorbit last night went flawlessly.  [Entry interface, as usual, occurred over the Pacific.  There remained about 1 kg of gaseous oxygen in the O2 tank, the transfer of which would have pushed O2 concentration in the cabin to exceed the 24.1% limit set by Flight Rule (B17-3).  10P’s departure decreased ISS mass by 7356 kg (16,217 lbs)]

In the Service Module (SM), CDR Yuri Malenchenko started another regeneration cycle on absorbent bed #1 of the BMP harmful impurities unit, leaving channel #2 in Purify mode (last time done: 8/8).  [The “bakeout” cycle in the filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

FE/SO Ed Lu completed the weekly transfer of accumulated files with workout data from the TVIS and RED exercise equipment to the MEC via PCMCIA card (personal computer memory card international association) and RED logbook entries, for subsequent downlink to Earth. 

Afterwards, he transferred heart rate monitor (HRM) data files to the MEC, then deleted them on the HRM receivers.  [Last time done: 8/22.]

Dr. Lu also performed checkout of the MedOps cardiac defibrillator, a periodic routine task that is scheduled as soon as possible from Expedition start and every 60 days thereafter.  [For the checkout, the defib is connected to the 120V outlet, equipped with its battery, today #1008, and then allowed to charge, for about five seconds, to a preset energy level (e.g., 100 joules).  After the button-triggered discharge, a console indicator signals success or failure of the test.  The pacing signal was to be downlinked via S-band for 1.5 min.]

Malenchenko did the regular inspection of the active BRPK air/condensate separator of the Russian SRV-K water processing system.   [The BRPK separator contains porous cermet hydrophilic (“water attracting”) tubes through which the gas-liquid mixture from the heat exchanger moves.  They separate the air from the condensate, but when the separator exceeds its service life or malfunctions, incomplete separation of the atmospheric condensate occurs, and the water then collects under the “sheet” of porous fluoroplastic.  This is  the main focus of the regular inspection.]

Yuri also conducted the routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system and prepared the regular IMS “delta” file for IMS database update.

At 9:30am EDT, the crew had their weekly conference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Kent Rominger).

Later, at 3:00pm, the crew is scheduled to set up their amateur radio equipment and engage in a 10-min. exchange via ARISS radio system with students at Incarnate Word Academy, a College Preparatory High School for young women located in downtown Houston, TX, with around 250 students.  [ARISS background: Ham radio activities are spearheaded by an organization formed by national and international ham radio groups called ARISS (Amateur Radio International Space Station).  Russia has provided ports on the SM for radio antennas, and ISS crews have trained to operate the equipment.  ISS operations at present use voice and Packet, the Russian text messaging device.  The first initial radio station was flown on STS-106/2A.2b in September 2000  and transferred to the ISS.]

The Russian Molniya-SM experiment at SM window #2 was activated by automated SUBA sequencer to monitor filling of the laptop disk with previously-made observations.  Working off the task list, Malenchenko also transferred measurement recordings made by the Molniya-LSO hardware at window #3 to hard disk (HDD), as part of the original French Andromède investigation.   [Molniya-SM/LSO records storm phenomena and other related events in the upper atmospheric layers over Earth’s equatorial regions.]

Malenchenko reviewed upcoming operations with the Russian technology experiments BTKh-2 (Mimetic-K) and BTKh-20 (Interleukin), to be delivered on Progress 12P.  [Both experiments deal with growing protein crystals with high-quality crystalline structure.  They will be transferred from Progress in two packages: the Luch-2 Kit (a biocrystallizer assembly comprising four multi-purpose Luch-2 biological crystallization cartridges {UBK}, and the AQUA-01 container for containing the Luch-2 cartridge assembly during crystallization.]

Yesterday’s full calibration of the U.S. MCA (major constituent analyzer) has yielded good agreement of ppO2 (oxygen partial pressure) readings by the backup CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) as well as with the Russian SM GA (gas analyzer).  The (originally) primary CSA-CP is reading low on O2 concentration and may have to be decommissioned; options for its replacement, either with an older unit still on board or a new CSA-CP, are being studied.  Meanwhile, the MCA is now regarded as primary source for ppO2 data.  [O2 concentration is currently at 24.0%, ppO2 at 180 mmHg.]

Current plans are to repress the station’s cabin atmosphere periodically with gaseous oxygen from Progress 11P O2 tanks, until its undocking on 9/4.  This will still leave 6-7 kilograms of O2 in its tanks, if the present Flight Rule limit of 24.1% max concentration is observed.  [Efforts are underway at both MCCs to come up with a strategy that makes maximum use of the 11P O2 without exceeding the 24.1% limit (which is based on flammability consideration).  This effort is more complex than it would appear, due to the fact that inevitable measurement errors in CSA-CP, MCA and GA instrumentation can inadvertently lead to violating the 24.1% limit, as has happened, briefly, two days ago.]

The crew performed their regular daily physical exercise on TVIS treadmill, RED resistive exerciser and VELO ergometer with load trainer.

The SSC IBM 760XD router laptop in the FGB, newly reloaded yesterday by the crew with a fresh hard disk drive, has been working nominally, providing again connectivity for the network traffic on the SSC OpsLAN between the Russian segment (RS) to the US segment (USOS).  [But if its recent failures were hardware-related, the current functionality may turn out to be short-lived, requiring a spare laptop shell which is currently not in the onboard inventory.  New NGLs (next generation laptops) will be delivered by Progress 12P.]

Tonight’s launch of 12P/Progress M-48 at Baikonur remains on schedule,- at 9:48pm EDT.  After orbit insertion, at ~9:57pm, two solar arrays, four Kurs antennas, one TORU/Rassvet-M antenna and one telemetry antenna need to deploy.  Later, the SSh docking probe will extend, followed by a test of the MCS (motion control system) including Klest TV system.  After a two-day “chasing” flight, docking will be on 8/30 (Saturday), at about 11:43pm.   [12P’s arrival will increase ISS mass by 6934 kg (15,287 lbs), with approximately 2.5 tons of mixed cargo.  This includes propellants in the KDU thruster tanks (570.8 kg oxidizer & 308.4 kg fuel) and in the SD refueling tanks (224.6 kg oxidizer & 128.5 kg fuel), gaseous oxygen (21 kg), air (24 kg, for dilution), and water (420 kg).  Last-minute cargo items, small enough to fit through the Progress side hatch on the launch pad, include new bungee cords for the TVIS treadmill, shoes for the Expedition 7 crew, and payload hardware for Russian technology experiments, a Spanish experiment, and the Japanese GCF (Granada Crystallization Facility).]

Upon 12P arrival, because of their limited survival time, the GCF samples will have to be transferred to the CGBA (commercial generic bioprocessing apparatus) and its ICM (isothermal containment module) cooler without delay, requiring the crew to deinstall the Progress docking mechanism on Saturday night immediately after hard dock for gaining access to the payload.  [This will necessitate extending their working day by 90 minutes, which is not accounted for in the original sleep cycle shift plan.]

Today’s CEO (crew earth observation) targets, taking into account the current LVLH attitude, and including the targets of the Lewis & Clark 200-year memorial locations, were Lake Eyre, Australia (synoptic view of this hydrologically sensitive basin was requested, especially for water levels, if any.  The basin fills and empties on an El Nino periodicity.  It has been months since we have been able to call out this site as a target), Istanbul, Turkey (nadir and a touch right), Tigris-Euphrates, Turkey (many new lakes in Turkey’s southern mountains.  Looking mainly left of track), Early fall storm, E Atlantic (Dynamic event. This well formed, tight spiral storm is approaching Spain), Western Mediterranean Dust (as an early fall storm approaches Iberia, there is good potential for dust generation off the north Algerian coastright of track), Congo-Zimbabwe Biomass Burning (ISS passed directly over the major zone of burning.  Pointing left and right of track), Gulf of Maine plankton (another late season opportunity, at nadir and both sides of track.  Investigators acknowledge a very recent shot of probable plankton discoloration in this target area), Chicago, Illinois (great nadir pass over the Windy City), and Lower Amazon River Basin (good nadir pass over the largest influx of river water into the world ocean.  The Amazon reduces salinity in the ocean for an area the size of the Mediterranean, stretching along the coast northwest from the mouth).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:17pm EDT).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered Off (O2 being supplied by Progress 11P).  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Manual Mode 5/3).  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is Off.  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating.  MCA (major constituents analyzer) is operating.  BMP Harmful Impurities unit: absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is On; SKV-2 is Off.
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 27.1; ppO2 (mmHg) — data invalid; ppCO2 (mmHg) — data invalid.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 19.8.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 752; temperature (deg C) — 21.3.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 750.25; temperature (deg C) — 21.8 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 751.99; temperature (deg C) — 23.0; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):  Pressure (mmHg) — 752.09; temperature (deg C) — 22.4; shell heater temp (deg C) — 23.1, ppO2 (mmHg) — 182.2; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.7.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 21.7
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 20.2.

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in tri-angle “blind” mode (non-solar tracking).
  • SM batteries:  Battery #2 is failed and off; all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode; battery #1 is degraded. 
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #1 is disconnected; 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-2 MDM is Off; PL-1 MDM is Operational.
  • APS-1 (automated payload switch #1) and APS-2 are both On.
  • SM Terminal Computer (TVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.

Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 3657 kg (8062 lb) as of 8/21  [SM(755) + FGB(2902) + Progress M(0) +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: -10 deg, pitch: -9.4 deg, roll: 0 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-2 is prime).
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • HCOR (high-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 based at MBS PDGF #1 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,7:05am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 382.7 km
  • Apogee  387.5 km
  • Perigee — 377.9 km
  • Period — 92.21 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0007154
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.62
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 90 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 27229
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.