Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 Aug 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
August 29, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 Aug 2003

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

Progress 12P had a perfect liftoff last night, on time at 9:48pm EDT.  Orbit insertion was entirely nominal, and all antennas and arrays deployed without issues.  The cargo ship is on its way to rendezvous with ISS tomorrow night, after 33 orbits.  Docking is expected at 11:45pm EDT.   [The first two (of five) maneuver burns were executed this morning at 1:24am (DV1) and 2:02 (DV2), initiating “phase rate”, i.e., the actual gradual closing of the phasing angle separating chaser/Progress and target/ISS.  The phasing rate will be adjusted with DV3 on Orbit 16 tonight (11:09 pm), after data uplink on Orbit 15.  After state vector and flight plan have been uplinked on Orbits 30 and 31 from RGS (Russian ground stations), the two remaining burns will control the intercept maneuver tomorrow night, DV4 setting it up and DV5 (at ~80km from ISS) executing it.  The Kurs-A radar/autopilot system will be powered on at a distance of 200 km.]

In a change from the regular weekly schedule, to relieve docking day workload, the crew today completed the 3-hr. station cleaning that is usually done on Saturday,.  [The “uborka stantsii” 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.]
Later, CDR Yuri Malenchenko and FE/SO Ed Lu set up the Russian segment (RS) LIV television system, configuring it for covering the 11P docking, with the TV signal routed from the RS to the US segment (USOS) for downlink via U.S. Ku-band assets.  The downlink was then tested.

Malenchenko terminated the bake-out cycle on filter bed 1 of the SM’s harmful impurities removal unit (BMP), moding the channel back to Purify.  Later, he initiated regeneration on filter channel 2.  [Regeneration of the air purifier filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

Dr. Lu collected and stowed the two passive FMK (formaldehyde monitoring kit) sampling badges which he had deployed in the Lab and SM on 8/27.

The Science Officer also recharged both batteries of the MedOps defibrillator equipment to full capacity.  [Each battery was left in for 3.5 hrs. and its open-circuit voltage tested with the volt/amp scopemeter, then removed and stowed again.  Nominally, the Defib has a battery installed at all times, but with this particular unit the PDIM (power data interface module) would overcharge the batteries.]

Ed completed his 15th weekly filling-out of the FFQ (food frequency questionnaire), which keeps a log of his nutritional intake over time on special medical equipment computer (MEC) software.

Yuri conducted the routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system, and Ed performed the regular routine status checkup of autonomous Increment 7 payloads in the Lab (PCG-STES010, MAMS, SAMS).

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

At 8:45am EDT, the crew conducted the weekly (normally Saturdays) planning conference with the ground, discussing next week’s “Look-Ahead Plan” (regularly prepared jointly by MCC-H and MCC-M planners), via S-band/audio.  

At about 2:55pm, the crew will have their weekly teleconference with the ISS Flight Director at MCC-H.

Working off the Russian task list, the CDR conducted another brief session of the Russian Uragan earth imaging program, focusing the Kodak DCS760 digital camera with 800-mm lens on natural and industrial environments.  [Today’s targets were the Madeira and Canary Islands, and Lagos, Nigeria, on the Atlantic shore.]

Also on Yuri’s discretionary task list for today were more observations for the Diatomeya ocean research program.  [He used the Nikon F5 with f/80 mm lens to shoot nadir images of sea bloom features and cloud cover anomalies in the training area of the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Oceanology in the Black Sea, North Atlantic Current frontal zones, and the California bioproductive area.]

Another task list item for Malenchenko was to monitor and swap out the magneto-optical disk of the VFS-3M video-photometric system of the geophysical Molniya-SM/LSO experiment at SM window #2.  [Russian scientists are using the periodically operated Molniya VFS-3M for studying atmospheric, ionospheric and magnetospheric electromagnetic interaction related to storms and seismic activities.]

Yesterday, the SSC Router laptop in the FGB failed again, indicating that the problem is indeed with hardware, i.e., the shell.  [MCC-H offered Ed Lu the option of reconfiguring SSC4 as the new Router, since one of the four new NGLs (next generation laptops) arriving on 12P is already configured to replace SSC4. Otherwise, he had the option to continue rebooting the present Router until it can  be replaced after more shells are freed up after NGL deployment, a demanding job scheduled during Week 20 (week of 9/15).]

Ed Lu downlinked photos of a panel on the deployed P1 truss radiator P1-2 which indicate discoloration marks that may be associated with an MMOD (micrometeoroid/orbital debris) strike. [No ammonia has been loaded as yet into the radiator, which is pressurized with an inert nitrogen (N2) pad.  The N2 pressure has remained stable, indicating that none of the tubing was pierced. Ground specialists are investigating to determine if this is really a MMOD strike.]

Communication with ISS was lost yesterday for 20 minutes due to an as yet undefined problem at White Sands.  [The Ground Controller sent a “No Change” GCMR (ground control message request) to drop the configuration, then rebuild it.  This recovered the communication link.  A discrepancy report has been generated and White Sands personnel are investigating the outage.]

Progress 12P Manifest: M-48 (#248) will deliver 2498 kg of cargo, comprised of 1518 kg equipment in the cargo module, 420 kg water in the Rodnik tanks, 50 kg gas (oxygen and air), and 510 kg propellants (fuel and oxidizer).  [Supplies include 26 containers with 164 Russian food rations, Russian and U.S. medical, sanitary and hygienic equipment, four sets of “Penguin-3” zero-G countermeasures suits and a set of TVIS/treadmill bungee cords,15 smoke detectors and seven gas masks, 35-mm film and videocassettes, plus “Sputnik” ham radio gear, four U.S. IBM A31P ThinkPad laptops (NGL), various heat exchanger, air ventilation and air conditioner parts, two new 800A storage batteries and one MIRT-3 charge/discharge current integrator, U.S. EVA equipment and spares, etc.  Also on board are several new experiment payloads, such as the Japanese GCF protein crystallization package, Russian MBI biomedical research and BTKh biotechnology experiments, the “Spheres” ultrasound system, U.S. EPO (educational payload operations) sets, the HPA (hand posture analyzer) suite of hardware elements, etc.]

Progress 11P will undock September 4 at 3:41pm EDT.

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 Western Mediterranean Dust (oblique views looking right towards Africa should have shown the continuing dust plumes coming off the Sahara into the Mediterranean), Statue of Zeus at Olympia (nadir pass over the site, inland from the coast in the largest west-side valley on the Peloponnes peninsula), Alexandria, Egypt (nadir pass), Cairo, Egypt (nadir pass), Johannesburg, South Africa (nadir pass), Washington, D.C. (looking right of track),Philadelphia, PA (LEWIS & CLARK SITE:  Nadir pass.  By early 1803 Lewis was in Philadelphia taking crash courses in medicine, botany, zoology, and celestial observation.  He studied maps and journals of traders and trappers who had already reached as far up the Missouri River as the Mandan villages in North Dakota.  By the time he left Washington he knew as much about the West as any man in America), Lemhi Pass, Mont/Idaho (LEWIS & CLARK SITE:  Right of track), Fortunate Camp (LEWIS & CLARK SITE:  Right of track), York’s Island, Townsend, MT (LEWIS & CLARK SITE:  Just left of track), and Three Forks, MT (LEWIS & CLARK SITE:  Just left of track).
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 Regeneration mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is Off; SKV-2 is Off.
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 27.0; ppO2 (mmHg) — data invalid; ppCO2 (mmHg) — data invalid.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 19.5.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 752; temperature (deg C) — 22.3.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 748.34; temperature (deg C) — 21.8 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 750.17; temperature (deg C) — 23.2; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):  Pressure (mmHg) — 750.37; temperature (deg C) — 22.5; shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.9, ppO2 (mmHg) — 177.8; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.8.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 21.9
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 20.5.

(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,6:09am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 382.5km
  • Apogee  387.2 km
  • Perigee — 377.9 km
  • Period — 92.2 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006888
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.62
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 150 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 27244
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.