Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 Dec 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
December 3, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 Dec 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below. Day 47 in space for Expedition 8 (45 days on ISS).

A major task for FE Alexander Kaleri today was the payload setup session for the Russian TEKh-20 PK-3 (Plasma Crystal-3) experiment, deferred from yesterday.  [Immediately after wake-up, Kaleri shut off the large-volume control valve KKT3 on the vacuum work chamber and waited several hours monitoring the pressure with a manual gauge on KKT3. Later, he started the work chamber (ZB) depressurization with the evacuation turbopump, tagging up with ground specialists to report on and discuss progress. He then prepared a floppy disk with the experiment program software (S/W), uploaded the S/W into the associated payload laptop, and performed testing and calibration of the test hardware. Afterwards, the work chamber hardware and PC were deactivated, and the turbopump turned off. The crystallization experiment is performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles, charged and excited by RF/radio frequency power, inside the evacuated work chamber. The actual TEKh-20 experiment run is scheduled for tomorrow (12/4).]

CDR/SO Michael Foale began today’s FOOT experiment (Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight) by donning the specially instrumented LEMS (lower extremity monitoring suit) pants garment, setting up the video equipment for taping his subsequent EMG calibration on VTR, opening the Lab nitrogen (N2) valve and then conducting the data collection session during the day. After the FOOT ops, the N2 valve was closed again.  [Wearing the black Lycra biking tights with 20 electrodes and shoes fitted with insoles that measure impact forces on the bottom of the foot for the 12-hr session, Foale first performed electromyography (EMG) calibration (i.e., electric muscle currents recording) on the right arm and leg, then completed a typical on-orbit day while his reaction forces against the ISS structure were recorded passively on 14 channels to determine how much stress his legs and feet endure. This provides better understanding of the bone loss and muscle mass loss experienced by astronauts in zero-G (on Mir, for example, cosmonauts lost as much bone mass in a month as post-menopausal women do in a year). Prior to and following TVIS exercise he needed to perform a standing calibration with three marker button presses, to allow the ground to identify if sensors have shifted during exercise. During standing calibration he was to stand up as straight as he would in 1G, keeping knees straight and heels on the footplates. At the end of the day, he was to check whether EMG electrodes have come loose during the preceding activities. The experiment, which is led by the biomedical engineering department at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, was also conducted by Ken Bowersox during Increment 6.]

Alexander Kaleri conducted the periodic visual inspection of the pressure hull in the SM Working Compartment (RO), today behind panels 137, 138, 139 in the SM aft cone, looking for any moisture, deposits, mold, corrosion and pitting. [Sasha inspected the hull surface, which is coated with a primer and dark-green enamel, using cleaning napkins to wipe the area in question if required and reporting results to the ground.]

Sasha did the daily SOZh life support systems maintenance (including toilet facility, food containers, water containers and solid waste containers). He also prepared the daily IMS (inventory management system) update file.

Before the scheduled Week 6 water sampling by Foale, Kaleri replaced the EDV-ZV water container used for storing water in the SM with a new one, then used water from Progress 12P to flush and disinfect the old EDV and hoses.  [The installed EDV-ZV was not to be used for drinking purposes until after today’s microbiological sampling was done.]

Michael Foale undertook the monthly water sampling for in-flight chemistry/microbiology analysis, using approved Russian sampling procedures with the U.S. WS&A (water sampler & archiver) for collection and the WMK (water microbiology kit) for treatment within 6 hours of the collection. Results will be available after a two-day incubation period. [Samples were taken in the SM at the potable water SRV-K hot port and from the EDV container of the SVO-ZV water supply system (see above). Last time done: 11/7.]

The planned task for Mike to unpack and deploy the passive formaldehyde monitoring kit (FMK) sampling badges was deferred to a later date.

The CDR terminated the 24-hour discharging process for spacesuit (EMU) batteries #2029 & #2030 in the Airlock’s battery stowage assembly (BSA), then stowed them in the Airlock (A/L) after resetting their 50-day clock. Later, Mike initiated another maintenance charging/discharging cycle on EMU batteries #2032 and #2033 in the BSA. [The charging will again take about 24 hrs, followed by discharging. Helmet light and PGT (pistol grip tool) batteries were not to be charged at this time.]

The crew worked out according to their regular daily physical exercise program of 2.5 hrs on the TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser, CEVIS cycle ergometer and VELO bike (with load trainer).

Daily at dinnertime the crew is continuing to support the Renal Stone prevention experiment by taking the test medication (either potassium citrate or placebo tablets) until the next sample collection phase early next year.

At 5:15am EST this morning, TsUP/Moscow ended its 23h 57m test of the Russian ASN-2401 satellite navigation antenna system on the SM, which uses GLONASS/Uragan satellites (the Russian equivalent of GPS) to correct the on-board state vector information (i.e., ISS position and velocity referenced to a time “epoch”), which up to now has to be uplinked daily from RGS (Russian ground sites) or transferred from the U.S. segment from time to time.

Today’s CEO targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, wereIrrawaddy River delta, Myanmar (looking left for detailed views of the mouths of the river. Massive deforestation in the basin is generating exponentially increasing soil and sediment flux into the delta, with resultant changes in the form of coastal and island evolution),Smoke-smog event, India(Dynamic event. Regional haze event over the subcontinent, with visibility this last hour reported as low as 1 mile in Delhi. Suggested were obliques looking left, with Arabian Sea as backdrop, for smog mass documentation over the sea surface. Slight underexposure was useful. Land features help orient views. Margins of smog masses are important features in any imagery. Also requested were obliques left and right of track 3 minutes later over the Ganges plain to document haze against the Himalayan foothills where blanket thickness can be estimated. ISS/CEO images are of interest to researchers in the INDOEX experiment, a NASA sponsored smog study that revealed the immense size of the haze masses generated by India), Nairobi, Kenya (looking left for the city), Mt. Kilimanjaro (nadir pass over this peak with its tropical glacier cap), Patagonian Glaciers (southern sector, especially on the drier Patagonian side of the Andes, is clearing),Eastern Mediterranean Dust (dust likely over the Sirte gulf of Libya as a new storm enters the Mediterranean from the Atlantic Ocean), Lake Poopo, Bolivia (images of the large dry [white] lakes in the southern Poopo basin are requested to complement recent views of Poopo itself. This highland basin is very sensitive to longer term El Nino-related climate perturbations), St. Croix (nadir pass over coral reefs in need of being mapped), St. John (nadir pass over coral reefs in need of being mapped), St. Thomas (nadir pass over coral reefs in need of being mapped), and Palmerston Island, Pacific (looking left for this remote Pacific island).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:30pm EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On, 20A. Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Manual Mode 5/3). U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is on Standby (ready in dual-bed mode). TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating. MCA (major constituents analyzer) is off (in Life Extending Mode). 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) — 26.1; ppO2 (mmHg) — 158.5; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 5.1.
  • SM Transfer Compartment: Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 20.0.
  • FGB Cabin: Pressure (mmHg) — 756; temperature (deg C) — 22.3.
  • Node: Pressure (mmHg) — 754.70; temperature (deg C) — 22.1 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab: Pressure (mmHg) — 756.53; temperature (deg C) — 24.9; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):  Pressure (mmHg) — 756.63; temperature (deg C) — 23.1; shell heater temp (deg C) — 23.2, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 21.9
  • PMA-2: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 19.6

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational. BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Directed (dual-angle) Position (non-suntracking). 
  • SM batteries: Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is still in slot #8 for troubleshooting; all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode. 
  • FGB batteries: Battery #5 is off; 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-2 MDM is prime, C&C-1 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-1 MDM is Off; PL-2 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 (all lanes reintegrated 11/5).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational; string #3 dropped out 10/22.

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available:3704 kg (8166 lb) as of 11/13 [SM(755) + FGB(2597) + Progress M(352) + 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 XVV (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, x-axis in ve

  • locity 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, IAC-1 is suspect).
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • HCOR (high-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 based at MBS PDGF #2/LEE A, 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, 7:03am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 372.6 km
  • Apogee — 376.6 km
  • Perigee — 368.7 km
  • Period — 92.0 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005821
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.65
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 180 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 28746
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.