Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 Jun 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
June 28, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 Jun 2003

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

Except for some standard maintenance and optional task list jobs, the crew’s day was off duty.

As generally on Saturdays, CDR Yuri Malenchenko and FE/SO Ed Lu performed the regular ezhenedeljnaya (weekly) 3-hr. housecleaning.  [This job includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, wet cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table and other surfaces with “Fungistat” disinfectant and cleaning fan screens to avoid temperature rises.]

In the SM, Malenchenko started another regeneration cycle on absorbent bed #1 of the BMP harmful impurities unit, leaving channel #2 in Purify mode.  [The “bakeout” cycle in the filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

Yuri also completed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system, while Ed attended to the daily preparation of the IMS inventory “delta” file.

CDR Malenchenko set up the SM video and audio system for an SPP (automated time sequencer)-initiated 10-min. TV downlink, joining in a live forum discussion of the presence and future of the Russian space program.   [The forum was organized by Russian TV Channel One’s news division (“Vremya” program) from the Druzhba Sports Complex in Luzhniki.  It included TV link-ups (“bridges”) with the governors of the Russian Federation regions, prominent individuals representing arts and culture as well as science and technology fields, and representatives of various non-governmental organizations.]

As on most every Saturday, at 9:30am EDT the crew held their weekly planning conference with the ground via S-band/audio, discussing next week’s “Look-Ahead Plan” (regularly prepared jointly by MCC-H and MCC-M planners). 

Both crewmembers completed their daily 2.5-h program of physical exercise, on TVIS treadmill, RED expander and, for Yuri, on the Russian VELO cycle ergometer with load trainer.

Tomorrow night between 10 and 11pm EDT, station attitude will be changed from sun-pointing XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) to earth-oriented LVLH (local vertical/local horizontal) tomorrow

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Seven — 8th):

This was another successful week of payloads activities on ISS.  The crew completed the Ultrasound CBT (computer-based training) and Ultrasound test activities.  A few days later they powered up the HRF Rack for downlinking the Ultrasound data to the ground and their subsequent transfer to the PI for analysis.  There was another successful run of InSPACE that will prove to be a useful point for data analysis, and the InSPACE team is looking forward to getting the data from the final runs next week for analysis.  The earth imagery downlinked this week was truly remarkable and the CEO team is working to add the crew’s targets of interest to the daily target list.

GASMAP:   Next 30-day health check is planned for July.
Human Research Facility/Workstation (HRF WS):   Continuing.

Ultrasound (USND):  The joint HRF and Space Medicine activity confirmed that remote guidance allows excellent quality images to be obtained even without extensive ultrasound training and experience.  This will likely open the doors to using the HRF Ultrasound for future scientific investigations.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI):  Waiting to begin operations.

Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS):  SAMS is nominal and currently analyzing data in support of general characterization of the ISS acceleration environment.  The firing of pyro valves is a new event that will be investigated for impacts.

Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS):  MAMS is nominal and currently analyzing data in support of general characterization of the ISS acceleration environment.  The firing of pyro valves is a new event that will be investigated for impacts.

Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES):   Since the PCG STES unit contains 81 different experiments from a number of different investigators, the ground really appreciate the crew’s good work in keeping the filters clean. The temp hasn’t varied more than +/- 0.03 deg C from the setpoint in the last eight weeks.

Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions (InSPACE):   InSPACE had one run this week, at much lower frequencies which resulted in excess dispersion of the particles and smaller chain structures during the pulse periods. Therefore, the ground could not see the evolving structures except during the brief steady periods. Next week two final tests will be conducted with the smallest particle sample, and not much is expected to be seen except during the monitor periods.

Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE):  In progress.  Deployed outside. Nominal and collecting data.

Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM):  National Geographic Society is sponsoring a 7-day training seminar  for 20 teachers during the upcoming July session.  The teachers are really excited about this training opportunity.

Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2):  Waiting to begin operations.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO):  The ground is working the final issues with the remaining EPO activities and plans to resume activities soon.

Crew Earth Observation (CEO):   Two targets have been chosen for the NASA Earth Observatory website.  One is the mosaic of dust and related clouds over the southern Red Sea, Saudi and Eritrea.  The second is the broad and highly detailed images of the Kitty Hawk site with the Kill Devil Hills.  Other successes are two hard-to-find Lewis & Clark sites.  The ground team also wants to stress how the “mapping series“ technique helps speed up cataloging of detailed views, which can otherwise be extremely difficult to locate.  In a string of images, a recognizable point can almost always be found.  Panoramas/wider views perform the same valuable function.

Today’s optional CEO targets, limited in the current XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, and including the targets of the Lewis & Clark 200-year memorial locations, were Western Mediterranean Haze (coastal Spain very hazy.  Looking obliquely left and right.  Obliqueness of view and slight overexposure both help to capture these aerosol loadings.  Sources of the haze are poorly understood, but probably lie hundreds of miles away in France or northern Italy), Betsiboka R delta, Madagascar (Dynamic event:  sun glint pass right of track over this fast-changing estuary.  A new island was documented late last year, developing as a vast mud bank.  Such islands rapidly become permanent as they are colonized by mangrove vegetation.  The Betsiboka is one of the most dramatically changing sites we know of, and relates to extreme post-WW II soil erosion rates on the hills inland), Kinshasa, Zaire (looking right for the Kinshasa region on the south side of the Congo River [at the point where the river widens at “Stanley Pool”]), Chongqing, China (nadir pass over this major inland city which lies on the Yangtze River [where the river exits the Red Basin — southeast corner of the basin]), Manila, Philippines (nadir pass), Dust storm, E Iran (Dynamic event:  Major dust storm in eastern Iran, western Pakistan and western Afghanistan was raging for the second day.  Sources of the dust are a critical item of research [more nadir views of plume origins].  Geology of the source points is easily interpreted from the ISS CEO images.  Dust transport directions are also of great interest.  South Asia is the dustiest part of the planet and needs to be understood to improve global aerosol models), Bangkok, Thailand (looking left for a view of the Bangkok region), and Missouri River sites (LEWIS & CLARK SITES:  Nadir series of views [overlapping mapping swath] along the Missouri requested to capture several sites of interest).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this afternoon, 6:45am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 387.7 km
  • Apogee — 392.8 km
  • Perigee — 382.7km
  • Period — 92.32 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0007406
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 95 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 26276
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.