Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 May 2003

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

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

Both crewmembers today performed Part 2 of the IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) tests without blood labs, each one acting first as the examining CMO (crew medical officer) and then becoming the examined subject.  [Guided by special software (IFEP, in-flight examination program) on the medical equipment computer (MEC), the tests were performed with equipment from the crew’s ambulatory medical pack (AMP) and advanced life support pack (ALSP).  All PHS data were recorded by the two CMOs on the IFEP, using the same forms started by them yesterday during the MO-9 assessment.]

Later in the day, with Ed Lu’s assistance, CDR Yuri Malenchenko also completed the MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation during graded exercises on the VELO cycle ergometer, which had been deferred last week (5/22).  [In this first (for him) session, Malenchenko used the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes, and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer’s instrumentation panels.  For the graded exercise, he worked the pedals after a prescribed program at load settings of 125, 150, and 175 watts for three minutes each.  All measurements were recorded and telemetered during Daily Orbit 1 to MCC-M, from where the workout was controlled by a specialist.]

After FE/SO Edward Lu set up the video camcorder for the subsequent Educational Payload Operations (EPO) session, the crew performed (and recorded) great zero-G flight demonstrations of paper airplanes and particularly of a model of the Wright Flyer.  [The crew had prepared for the event with an OBT (on-board training CD-ROM) on 5/18.  As special topic for the education community and the approaching 100th anniversary of the Wright Brother’s first flight, the small (10 inch wingspan, mass <2 ounces) replica of the Wright Flyer was built by students at Orono Middle School in Orono, Maine, with science teacher Richard Glueck, using toothpicks, birch stirring sticks and rip-stop nylon. The model was packed in a special NASA-built cushioning container and launched on Soyuz 6S with the Expedition 7 crew.]

The brief troubleshooting of the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) was successful.  The MSG is functioning nominally, and five InSPACE (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) experiment runs are being scheduled for next week.  [The rack, which had not been power-cycled on 5/27 came up without hitch this morning when powered up. The 5/27 curtailment of the planned test run was due to an off-nominal pressure indication during the rack’s activation.  Telemetry had indicated a higher-than-expected delta-pressure for the MSG work volume.  The MSG work volume usually exhibits a slight negative pressure (erroneously reported as “increase” on 5/28) after fans are turned on in order to prevent outflow in case of leak.  In this case, no pressure drop was indicated, probably because of what now is thought to have been a control software “hang-up”.]

The Science Officer again took the 24-hr. noise measurements of the static acoustic dosimeter deployed on 5/27.

Ed Lu also performed another one of the weekly inventory audits of the available CWCs (collapsible water containers) and their contents.  [Last time done: 5/23]. 

Yuri Malenchenko conducted his regular daily monitoring/servicing of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) zero-G plant growth experiment, checking water level in the Lada-2 greenhouse water container and the seed status.  Today, he also transferred the accumulated data files to the payload laptop 3 for subsequent downlink via Regul-Packet.

The CDR tagged up with MCC-Moscow, via S-band, for the periodic IMS (inventory management system) “negotiation” conference, then prepared the daily IMS delta file for automatic export/import to update the database.  Later, he also conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities)

At 10:45am EDT, both crewmembers participated in two interactive televised PAO interviews (Ku-band and S-band) on WABC-TV, New York, and KNX Radio, Los Angeles, CA, each one lasting about ten minutes. 

Ed and Yuri today also had their weekly conference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Kent Rominger).

Both crewmembers performed their regular daily physical exercise (2.5 hrs)  on TVIS, RED, CEVIS and VELO (for Yuri’s MO-5 test).

Overnight, the newly installed storage battery #8 in the Service Module was successfully tested, and it is now fully operational on line.  [The SM has another failed 800A battery (#4) and one with degraded capacity (#2), out of eight total.]

After yesterday’s cooling problem during the EVA don/doff dryrun, Ed Lu’s EMU (extravehicular mobility unit) suit is currently considered “No Go” for use.  Troubleshooting on the ground continues.  [Because of the curtailment of the dry-run when Lu could not establish coolant water flow, SAFER (simplified aid for EVA rescue) donning was demonstrated only by Malenchenko, and  Airlock/Crewlock (AL/CL) ingress and hatch closure were not performed.]

Contrary to yesterday’s report, EMU battery maintenance discharge on 5/28 did not go as planned, apparently due to a problem with the controlling laptop. [Troubleshooting is scheduled for next Monday (6/2).  During this procedure, the SSC (station support computer) will be operated in DOS mode in order to prevent possible erroneous interactions with Windows mode.  If the SSC6 laptop is unsuccessful in initiating the EMU battery discharge, SSC6 may be suspect, and a second SSC laptop will be utilized.]

In a test to verify good communications between the Loop A PCVP (pump and control valve package) of the ETCS (external thermal control system) and its controlling MDMs (multiplexer/demultiplexers, i.e., computers), MCC-H will power on the firmware of the PCVP, preparatory to the ETCS’ activation on Mission 12A.1.  The pump itself will not be spun up.  [Loop A will remain in this configuration for the foreseeable future, while power is available.  The Loop B PCVP will have its firmware powered on following the S1/P1 software upload in the near future.].

MCC-H/Avionics personnel today are conducting a mission configuration test of the S1/P1 truss element software upgrade, release 2 (R2), in preparation for its uplink in the near future.

To better manage carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction on board, an agreement has been reached between Houston and Moscow to cycle the Vozdukh CO2 scrubber between Mode 3 (night) and Mode 5 (day).  [In Mode 3, Vozdukh switches between its two regenerative adsorbent cartridges every 20 minutes.  In Mode 5, the switch cycle is reduced to 10 minutes.  Vozdukh was originally designed for three filter channels, but the third has never been functional.]

As a result of the improved CO2 handling, ppCO2 (partial CO2 pressure in the air) has come down to 3 mmHg in the SM this morning.  In the Lab, the U.S. CDMK (CO2 monitoring kit) measured 3.2 mmHg in the morning.  Thanks to a “zero” calibration performed on the MCA (major constituent analyzer) yesterday, which corrected its readings down by 0.2 mmHg from earlier measurements, the difference between the MCA and CDMK instruments now has shrunk to 0.3 mmHg.  [Hard Flight Rule limit: 7.6 mmHg.]

Tomorrow’s conjunctions (close encounters) with the Megsat satellite (object #25722) will require a debris avoidance maneuver (DAM).   [Further ahead-calculations of the three passes are showing all of them within the “Red box” (collision probability greater than 0.0001, one in ten thousand), with the closest miss distance, for the second conjunction at 4:54-4:55pm EDT, today estimated to be 8 meters.  TCA (time of closest approach) for the other two passes are 3:22pm and 6:27pm.  Maneuver commands have already been put in the system for uplink to the SM computer as a PPL (pre-positioned load) file.  The avoidance burn of ~1 m/s will be performed by Progress 10P thrusters, using props from its refueling tanks.  This requires the burn to be executed over Russian ground sites (RGS) to be real-time monitored, and this sets the time for the DAM tomorrow, at 12:50pm EDT.  Megsat is an Italian technology development satellite launched in 2000 as one of several payloads on a Russian Dniepr rocket.]

According to Moscow, the DAM will have only minor impact on the correct orbit phasing for the upcoming Progress 11P.  [Since Progress 11P flight to the ISS uses the seldom employed three-day template (instead of two days), time available for determining any correction parameters and updating the Progress autopilot is not that critical.]

For Soyuz 7S, in Fall 2003 for crew rotation, an orbit phasing burn will be required.

The flight attitude assumed by the ISS for the 11P docking on 6/11 will require temporary power-downs on both the US and Russian segments.  Details are currently being worked.

At 1:00pm EDT and 1:12pm, TsUP conducted the planned Kurs approach/docking radar tests on the DC-1 “Pirs” side, first subset 1, then subset 2.  Both were successful.  [With this, fueling of the next Progress vehicle at Baikonur is moving ahead.  Launch of 11P/Progress M1-259 (M1-10) is set for 6/8 (Sunday) at 6:34am EDT.  The cargo ship will fly a three-day ascent profile, with docking scheduled for 6/11 (Wednesday) at 7:11am EDT.  Linkup will be radially at the DC-1 port (Progress 10P remains at the axial SM aft-end port, and Soyuz TMA-2 is at the FGB nadir port).  Total mass of 11P: 6934 kg (15287 lbs).]

Update on PCU (plasma contactor unit):   PCU-2 has been on Discharge since 5/16, for characterization of its performance, viz., its Cesium emission current, at exit from orbital eclipse (Earth’s shadow) under rapidly changing exit latitudes, as is the case from late May to early June.  It will remain on Discharg until 6/6, then switched to Standby.  [PCU emission current is the sum of the electron currents collected from the ambient ionosphere by (1) the high-voltage (160V) P6 solar arrays (when in ram position) and (2) via low-voltage induction by the ISS structure moving through the ionosphere.  The currently used FPP (floating potential probe) instrument  data for determining the potential between ISS and the ambient environment are very limited.  A more advanced Floating Potential Measurement Unit (FPMU) will arrive on ULF-1.  The present PCU-2 characterization enables forward-work on extending and validating the plasma charging model used by the ground for when the FPMU is in place.]

Today’s CEO targets, limited in the current XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Industrialized SE Africa (conditions favorable for industrial haze.  Looking right towards the industrial heartland), Patagonian glaciers, Chile (northern ice fields clear: looking right for detailed views of glacier tongues), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (nadir pass), Anatahan Volcano, N Marianas (Guam under volcano ash alert for respiratory health reasons.  By today, the winds will probably have reverted to a more normal westward flow, thereby removing the danger. Looking left of track about three degrees), Western Mediterranean Haze (conditions favorable for haze buildup, especially draining down the Rhone and Ebro valleys [in France and Spain respectively], both left of track), and Lower Amazon River Basin (looking left and right for detailed views of this great estuary).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites and

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:06pm EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On (20 amp mode).  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (manual mode 5, see note above).  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) — 26.2; ppO2 (mmHg) — data invalid; ppCO2 (mmHg) — data invalid.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 751; temperature (deg C) — 21.1.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 748; temperature (deg C) — 23.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742.62; temperature (deg C) — 24.7 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744.61; temperature (deg C) — 23.0; ppO2 (mmHg) — 170.7; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.4.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):  Pressure (mmHg) — 744.72; temperature (deg C) — 31.0; shell heater temp (deg C) — 26.0, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.0.
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 11.7.

(n/a = data not available)

Propulsion System (PS):
Total propellant load available: 3573 kg (7877 lb) as of 5/29 [SM(774) + FGB(2547) + Progress(252)].  (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both “directed” (non-solar tracking) mode (“sun slicer” position, for drag reduction).
  • SM batteries:  Batteries #4 is disconnected (failed); battery #8 has been replaced, in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode (battery #2 is exhibiting degraded performance).
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #4 is disconnected; battery #5 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (4) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 in Standby mode; PCU-2 in Discharge 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-1 is operating; INT-2 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. Being upgraded.
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational. Being upgraded.

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:

  • XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane = “sun-fixed” [yaw: 0.5 deg, pitch: -6.8 deg., roll: 0 deg]), with CMG TA (thruster assist).
  • Solar Beta angle:  50.4 deg (magnitude decreasing).

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-1 (internal audio controller #1) being analyzed after self-test error.  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 at WS4, with KA power. 
  • POA: KA power on both strings.
  • RWS (robotics workstations): Lab RWS is Off; Cupola RWS is Off.

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 5:39am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 388.7 km
  • Apogee — 392.8 km
  • Perigee — 384.6 km
  • Period — 92.33 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006062
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
  • Solar Beta Angle — 50.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 85 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 25807
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.