Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 Nov 2003

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  The crew had a regular Saturday light-duty day.

Taking to the air and flying to and fro in their voluminous residence after wake-up at the regular 1:00am EST, morning inspection, hygiene and breakfast, CDR/SO Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri performed the regular weekly 3-hr. housecleaning.  [The “uborka stantsii” focuses on removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, wet cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table and other surfaces with disinfectants (“Fungistat”) and cleaning of fan screens to avoid temperature rises.]

Kaleri then deactivated the IK0501 gas analyzer (GA) in the SM and exchanged its BF carbon dioxide (CO2) filter assembly with a new unit from the FGB.  GA was reactivated and the spent BF stowed for disposal (replaced last: 10/19). [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.]

The crew removed the skirt around the base of the TVIS (treadmill with vibration isolation and stabilization) and set up the video equipment for imaging the treadmill system in motion (with its VIS deactivated) during their newly approved aerobic exercising.  After the workout, which was supplemented by sessions on the ergometer bikes (CEVIS and VELO) and the RED resistive (anaerobic) machine, the video equipment was dismantled and stowed away.  [As long as the TVIS is operated without the protective skirt and the potential exists for hazardous floating FOD (foreign objects/debris), the crew is advised to wear protective eyewear and face mask. Main objective of the video taping was to obtain close-ups of the corner bracket assemblies and any interference of the TVIS with the “pit” in the SM floor.]

After the MAS (major constituents analyzer) was switched from life extending mode (LEM) to full operational mode by ground commands, Mike Foale opened its VGA (verification gas assembly) valve in support of a ground-controlled full calibration of the analyzer and later closed it again after MCC-H go-ahead. [The operation encountered a snag when the first calibration failed due to apparent data file corruption, shown by a garbled calibration data dump.  Ground controllers repeated the full calibration, which this time resulted in satisfactory calibration coefficients, background readings, and calibration time.]

While the MCA calibration was underway, Kaleri opened the air repressurization valves from Progress 12P at the SM aft dock, starting the first repress of the cabin atmosphere with fresh air from the Progress’ SrPK air supply tank (second unit), scheduled to last about 1h 50min.
After repress completion, Foale collected the daily cabin air ppO2 (oxygen partial pressure) measurement of the CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) for calldown to the ground, where it is used for trending analyses.

Sasha Kaleri had his PFC (private family conference) via live TV.  The video downlink was timed to start, by the SPP automated daily timeline system, over a Russian comm pass.

The FE also completed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system, including ASU toilet facilities.

Yesterday’s report that the EPO (Educational Payloads Operations) activities on 11/28 were cancelled was incorrect.  Mike and Sasha did indeed conduct the Earth Viewing demo of the EPO program as planned and to the great enjoyment of Flight Controllers in Houston and Payload Operators in Huntsville. [In the camcorder-transmitted demo, to be used in NASA educational products, on websites, TV, etc., the crew showed how and where they look at and photograph the Earth.  The activity was time-critical since it had to be scheduled over Ku- and S-band AOS (acquisition-of-signal) windows for real-time downlink of video and voice.]

Mike and Sasha conducted their regular 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).  They also had their weekly tagup with ISS Program management.

In a special ARISS (Amateur Radio International Space Station) ham radio event, the crew was provided pass times to downlink words of condolence and sympathy for former NBC News correspondent Roy Neal, who died today at a North Carolina hospital at age 82 following heart surgery performed last August. [Roy Neal was well known to TV viewers and highly respected in our space community for his coverage of the pioneering years of the U.S. space program, from Project Mercury, which sent the first American into space in 1961, to the Space Shuttle program, which launched the first shuttle in 1981.  Neal retired from NBC in 1986 after a 34-year career.  The Pennsylvania native began his news career with WBIG radio in Philadelphia. After serving as a combat infantry officer in World War II, he became program manager of Armed Forces Radio-Europe, then joined WPTZ-TV in Philadelphia.  He established NBC’s West Coast bureau in 1952 and was based there for his entire career.  While serving as science correspondent, Roy Neal often reported on the U.S.-Soviet space race and frequently reported from NASA Centers KSC, MSFC, JSC and JPL.  An avid ham radio enthusiast, he was a co-founder of SAREX, a program that allowed school children to talk to orbiting astronauts via amateur radio.  After retiring from the network, he taught journalism at High Point University in High Point, North Carolina.]

Working off the Russian task list, the FE conducted another brief session of the Russian Uragan earth imaging program, using the LIV Betacam video system and the Kodak 760 DSC (digital still camera) from SM window #9, now available again in LVLH attitude. [Today’s targets were the city of Abudja, Central America in the direction of the Panama Canal, the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica, Cuba and the Sargasso Sea.]

Also on Sasha’s discretionary task list for today was a new set of observations for the Diatomeya ocean research program. [He used the Nikon F5 with f/80 mm lens and the DVCAM-150 digital camcorder to shoot nadir images of structures of sea bloom fields in ocean water areas of varying productivity and cloud cover anomalies in the area at the southern end of the Indian subcontinent, i.e., the shallow-water Palk Strait (between India and Sri Lanka), the western shoreline of the Bay of Bengal with the discharge region of the Ganges River, to obtain data on the development of production processes in the waters of these areas during the restructuring of summer monsoon circulation into winter.  Targets were also the Somali Current frontal zone in the Arabian Sea, with the discharge region of the Indus River, to obtain data on the position of the oceanic boundary of the Somali Current frontal zone; and  the bioproductive area of the Falklands and Patagonia, i.e., the frontal zone of the West Wind Current, to record the position and shape of plankton blooms at the end of spring in the southern hemisphere, as well as “flashes” of phytoplankton bloom in the drift regions of large Antarctic icebergs.]

SpaceRef staff editor.