Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 Jul 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
July 29, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 Jul 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Today marks the 1,000th consecutive day of people living and working aboard the ISS (see below for more stats).

CDR Yuri Malenchenko conducted another experiment session with the Russian/German Plasma Crystal-3 (PK-3) payload, activating the evacuation turbopump, tagging up with ground specialists and starting the evacuation of the vacuum chamber (ZB) and PK-3 operations.  [Yuri loaded experiment software, calibrated and tested the experiment chamber and set up the chamber for experiments.  Afterwards, he was to deactivate the equipment but not to power off the turbopump.  The experiment is performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles, charged and excited by RF/radio frequency power, inside the evacuated work chamber.]

FE/SO Ed Lu activated the MSG (microgravity science glovebox) for a session of the Coarsening in Solid/Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2) experiment.  Later, the MSG was powered down again.  [Today, Ed was to power up the CSLM-2 ECU (electronics control unit), call down the humidity and temperature readings, and vent the sample chamber for an additional hour.  Following that, he was to disconnect the vacuum hose and prepare for sample processing.  Soak length of SPU-1 (sample processing unit #1) will be 48 hrs.]

Ed Lu also performed a functional checkout of the BSTC (Biotechnology Specimen Temperature Controller) experiment, which he had transferred with its GSM (gas supply module) from EXPRESS rack 3 (ER3) to ER4 on 5/14.  Parameter values were read before and after purge with the GSM, and the BSTC was then deactivated.  [BSTC is part of NASA/JSC’s Cellular Biotechnology Program that develops ground-based and space bioreactor technology to support investigations in cell biology and tissue engineering by providing the proper thermal and gas environment plus employing the weightless environment to form three-dimensional, functional tissue equivalents.  CBOSS (cell biotechnology operations support systems) includes the BSTC, which houses stationary bioreactors called QTCMAs (quad tissue culture module assemblies), maintained at a specified temperature in a controlled atmosphere.  Growth, morphology and function of mammalian cells in the BSTC are monitored by the crew by means of pH and chemistry analysis of media samples and postflight analysis of “fixed” cell samples.  The GSM provides carbon dioxide (CO2) gas for purging the incubation chambers after sessions, and the BCSS (biotechnology cell science stowage), which includes a supercold cryo-dewar, will supply the consumables and tools.]

Yuri Malenchenko completed the regular periodic (weekly) inspection of the BRPK-1 air/liquid condensate separator in the Service Module (SM).

Malenchenko continued the new round of periodic preventive maintenance of Russian segment (RS) ventilation systems, today cleaning the Group B ventilation fans in the SM, including a checkout of the ventilators and a thorough cleaning of fan screens and flexible air ducts (last time done: 6/5).

Yuri also deactivated the SM’s IK0501 gas analyzer (GA) and exchanged its BF carbon dioxide (CO2) filter assembly with a new unit.  GA was reactivated and the spent BF stowed for disposal (replaced last: 5/7).  [IK0501 is an automated system for measuring CO2, O2, and H2O in the air as well as the flow rate of the gas being analyzed.].

Ed Lu performed scheduled routine maintenance on the CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products).  [The crew was to ensure that the CSA-CP’s backup hardware is stowed in a location with good ventilation and easy access in contingency situations.]

For CDR Malenchenko, assisted by Ed Lu, it was time for the second part of the current MBI-8 Profilaktika (“countermeasures”) fitness test series, today with the NS-01 load trainer on the VELO (stationary bike) ergometer.   [This fitness test consists of four types of exercise, viz., neck tilting (back/forward), simultaneous forearm flexing, trunk extension, and trunk flexes. Each type of exercise consists of a series of 15 motions repeated two times.  Load levels are selected by the ground and do not change from test to test.  Total duration of the test is 13 min.  Gas analysis, subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels, and blood test for lactate and Creatine Kinase levels are also performed as a part of this test, using the TEEM-100M gas analyzer, AccuSport analyzer, and Reflotron-IV blood analyzer.]

The SO conducted the daily routine maintenance of SOZh life support systems, while the CDR prepared the daily IMS (inventory management system) “delta” file for updating the IMS database.

Ed Lu transferred data files from the physical exercise equipment (TVIS and RED) to the MEC (medical equipment computer) via memory card and RED log entries, for downlink on OCA comm.

At 9:50am EDT, the crew were scheduled to participate in a South-American PAO event, TV Globo’s “Fantastico” Show in Sao Paulo, Brazil, erroneously reported for yesterday.  [The downlink was also seen on NASA TV.]

Today at 3:28pm, the station will maneuver from earth-oriented LVLH to solar-pointing XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) attitude (yaw/pitch/roll = -179.5/-9.0/-0.04 degrees).

Late last Friday, the crew replaced three components of the SM toilet: The urine collector, the wring collector (a gas separator) and the gas-liquid Separator.  [The toilet has since operated nominally over the weekend.  The wring collector is used only for contingency, and there is only one spare on ISS after the replacement Friday.  The 12P manifest may be impacted if the Russians decide that another spare wring collector must be on orbit.]

Over the weekend, the Payload MDM locked up.  The ground reset the HRDL (high rate data link) card, resulting in a “stale” MDM event log.  This is a known condition which precludes data from being recorded and downlinked. The MDM was re-initialized yesterday, which corrected this condition; the MDM is now operating nominally.

Yesterday, the Airlock (A/L) MDM was uploaded with applications processing identification software.   [During this activity, the MDM exhibited an apparent time authentification problem which appeared to be in the MDM itself.  Upon further review, the problem was found to be residual in the ground equipment, as a relic of the LSOS (limited station operations support) swing two weeks ago.  The ground corrected the problem and the patch upload was concluded successfully.  The A/L MDM computer is up and fully operational.]

Also yesterday, MCC-H and MCC-M performed another successful BCC (backup control center) dry run.  [These tests are performed monthly to verify that should a major contingency arise at MCC-H, the BCC will be available.]

During the 1000 days of station occupancy, seven crews have lived on the ISS, as it has increased greatly in size and capabilities.  Since the first crew arrived on 11/2/2000, the station has grown into an unparalleled space laboratory whose size will eventually more than double. The living and working area has increased 6,000 cu.ft. during the past 1,000 days.  The station’s 15,000 cu,ft. volume is larger than a three-bedroom house.  Seven Expedition crews, 10 Americans and 10 Russians, have conducted 12 spacewalks from the ISS (as opposed to from the Shuttle), welcomed 11 visiting Shuttles, 10 Russian Progress cargo vehicles and four Soyuz taxi crews.  Additions to the Station include solar arrays of unprecedented size; the first space railway, stretching more than 130 feet; and a science facility, more sophisticated than any ever previously flown in space, the U.S. Lab “Destiny”.  Canada provided a new generation of space robotics with the unmatched capabilities of the Canadarm2.  Dual Russian and U.S. airlocks are functional and support spacewalks.

Today’s CEO (crew earth observation) targets, no longer limited in the current LVLH attitude and including the targets of the Lewis & Clark 200-year memorial locations, were Atlanta, Georgia (CITY AT NIGHT – Daytime clouds should give way to a steamy summer’s night in Georgia this pass.  Looking for the city just right of track), Bangkok, Thailand (monsoon cloudiness has broken for the moment over this area of Southeast Asia.  Crew was to use the 180mm lens to capture the extent of the city in a single view with this excellent nadir pass), Guilin, China (CREW SITE  ISS had a nadir pass with only fair weather cumulus), Congo-Zimbabwe Biomass Burning (using this fine fair-weather pass to map burn scars and active fires in northern South Africa, Zimbabwe, and northern Mozambique), Colossus of Rhodes (CREW SITE – Rhodes is the largest of numerous islands off the southwest coast of Turkey.  Looking just left of track), Rome, Italy (light was still a little low this pass, but the crew should have had a near-nadir view in clear weather over the “Eternal City”, using the 180mm lens), and Lishan, Taiwan (CITY AT NIGHT – The north end of Taiwan lay just right of track).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

SpaceRef staff editor.