Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 Jul 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
July 3, 2003
Filed under , , ,

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously. Closing in on a long weekend…

Early in the morning before breakfast and morning inspection, CDR Malenchenko concluded his third MBI-8 “Profilaktika” (countermeasures) fitness session. Today he conducted the blood test part, which determines lactate and creatine kinase levels in the blood with the AccuSport equipment, followed later in the day by the physical exercise session on the TVIS treadmill. FE/SO Lu assisted as crew medical officer (CMO). [The TVIS test is identical to the MO-3 test performed on the treadmill in idling mode with free choice of speeds within a certain specified range. In addition to the nominal test procedure, MBI-8/Part 3 calls for the use of the TEEM-100M gas analyzer during the test, the blood lactate measurements, and subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels during the test. At the end of the creatine kinase tests, the results were logged and recorded in Cardiocassette-2000 for subsequent downlink to the ground.]

Malenchenko prepared equipment assembly and work area for the Russian biomedical “Pilot” experiment (MBI-15) which requires a work table, ankle restraint system and control handles for testing piloting skill. The experiment was then conducted, for the first time, by flight engineer Ed Lu. Yuri later deactivated, disassembled and stowed the gear. [Ed performed three flight control modes (fixed, slow and fast free-flyer), each one five times, after checkout and calibration of the control handles. Results were later reported to the ground.]

Continuing and completing yesterday’s IFM (in-flight maintenance) activities on the BMP harmful impurities filtration system, Yuri Malenchenko today removed and replaced the electrical heater of the PKF-T catalytic thermal cartridge. The BMP was then to be activated per ground specialist go-ahead (via S-band).

In the morning, Ed Lu performed the last of the five currently scheduled acoustic dosimeter operations. [He took the noise measurements recorded by the three statically deployed dosimeters during the crew’s sleep over the past 8 hours. The hardware was then stowed for future use.]

The Science Officer completed the periodic transfer of physical exercise data files of the TVIS treadmill, RED resistive exerciser and CEVIS cycle ergometer to the MEC (medical equipment computer), for subsequent downlink to the ground (last time done: 6/17). [The data file transfers involve PCMCIA (portable computer memory card international adapter) cards from TVIS and CEVIS, plus the entries from the RED exercise log book, individually for each crewmember.]

Later, Ed Lu also performed the periodic transfer of accumulated data files from the wrist-worn HRM (heart rate monitor) receiving stations to the MEC for downlink, then deleted them on the HRM (last time done: 6/13).

Ed activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and removed the videotapes and equipment for the InSPACE (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) experiment for stowage in pre-assigned Lab and Node locker areas. The MSG was then powered down again. [The last InSPACE run yesterday again was a full success. The second run in the higher frequency range produced very interesting structure formation, much more elaborate than during an earlier run with this sample (at a lower frequency). Some interesting structure migration processes in the region around these larger structures were also seen. All of this may provide clues into the structure formation process and how they modify the field around them.]

Malenchenko performed scheduled IFM on the condensate water processor (SRV-K2M) by removing and replacing its BKO multifiltration/purification column unit which has reached its service life limit (450 liters min.). The old unit will be discarded on Progress. (Last time done: 3/4/03). [The SRV-K2M converts collected condensate into drinking water and dispenses the reclaimed water (warm and hot) for drinking and preparation of food and beverages.]

The CDR took photographs of the internal cone of the DC-1 docking compartment’s docking assembly used for the recent Progress 11P arrival. These images are used to refine current understanding of the docking conditions. [The objective is to take photos of the scratch mark left by the head of the docking probe on the internal surface of the docking cone. Yuri used the digital still camera (Kodak 760 or Nikon D1) to take two pictures with partially closed hatch and downlinked them later during the day via U.S. OCA assets.]

Ed Lu supported the ongoing NGL (Next Generation Laptop) testing, which today called for the second data collection and log file take. [Ed’s support consisted of copying the accumulated files of the automated test program from the new laptop’s microdrive over to the SSC (station support computer) laptop for data collection and subsequent downlink. The microdrive was then returned to the NGL and the test program restarted.]

Malenchenko’s Diatomeya ocean observation program today focused on intensive vortex formation in the Gulf Stream current and low-activity central water areas in the Atlantic Ocean. [Nadir-pointing observations and recording with the electronic Nikon F5 still camera (f/80 mm lens) and the DVCAM 150 for video from the SAM windows #7 and #8 proceeded from the delta of the Hudson river (Delaware Bay, USA) to the Bermudas and on towards the beam of the Amazon river.]

The Russian Uragan earth imaging program, using the Kodak 760 ESC with f/800-mm lens, today targeted large European cities (London, Antwerp, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt on Main, Prague), the cities and ports of Odessa, Sevastopol, and Trabzon, Lake Van with city of Van, etc. Yuri was also asked to film, if cloud cover did not exceed 30%, a Sakhalin oil pipeline, North-Kuril islands, and Kamchatka volcanoes.

Ed Lu performed the second carbon dioxide partial pressure (ppCO2) data collection from the newly deployed CSA-CP (compound specific analyzers-combustion products) brought up on 11P. [CSA-CP is a toxicology monitoring device for early CO detection/warning and post-fire decontamination. It also checks for HCl and other combustion products and contaminants. Data takes are regularly collected for downlink.]

Yuri Malenchenko completed his regular daily inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment which researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-2 greenhouse.

Malenchenko also terminated the test run of the Molniya-SM/LSO (GFI-10) geophysical experiment started on 6/30, by first deactivating the two French computers EGE 1 and EGE 2, the LSO 06 instrument and the Russian RBS power outlet, then disassembling the equipment and stowing it. [Molniya-SM/LSO automatically records storm phenomena and other related events in the Earth’s equatorial regions. The experiment is controlled from the EGE-1 laptop, loaded with orbital sighting predictions using an up-to-date NORAD tracking TLE (two-line element) provided by NASA. Objective of LSO was to study rare optical phenomena occurring in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, so-called “sprites” (i.e., puzzling glow phenomena observed above thunderstorm clouds). LSO was originally part of Claudie Haigneré’s French “Andromeda” payload package of taxi mission 3S that could not be performed as planned during Increment 4 due to an ISS flight attitude conflict.]

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

MCC-H continues the long-duration on-orbit thermal characterization test on the station’s S-band system String 1, which it started on 6/30. [The test involves powering BSP (baseband signal processor) and XPDR (standard TDRSS transponder) heaters off and on again after some time, to obtain temperature readings during various orbit times, including recordings during LOS (loss-of-signal). The objective is to correlate actual temperatures with thermal engineering models which were found to “underpredict” real thermal conditions.]

As per agreement between MCC-H and MCC-M, the Vozdukh CO2 removal system was switched to Manual Mode 5 yesterday, when the ppCO2 level reached 4.5 mmHg. As ppCO2 drops, the system will be returned to Mode 3. [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 fully implemented.]

Some of the “lost” Russian equipment was found, so that planned IFMs can proceed (e.g., antenna feeder unit installation, laptop 1 recovery, etc.)

Moscow has requested U.,S. assistance in recovering the hard disk drive (HDD) of laptop 1. The R&R is scheduled for 7/8.

Weekly consumables tracking indicates that onboard potable water supplies are actually 68 liters higher than thought, after residual contents of partially filled CWCs were taken into account. Food ration supplies run at slightly over one regular ration per day per crewmember. Propellants, RED canister capability and TVIS roller bearing life all remain adequately on plan.

At 12:45pm EDT, the crew participated in a TV event for PAO, downlinking an ISS status report, to be aired on Independence Day, covering their thoughts on life on board, getting used to the micro-G environment, outstanding topics of science, maintenance, educational and public events, etc.

Later today, at about 4:10pm EDT, PCU (plasma contactor unit) #2 will be deactivated to Standby mode after a 48 hrs. run for plasma environment characterization. The present test is part of a continuing effort to establish a relationship between the charging hazard, ambient ionosphere conditions, and the flight configuration while in LVLH attitude. [PCU Xenon-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.]

Tonight at about 9:55pm EDT, the RS (Russian segment) will transition to refueling mode, and propellant transfer from the four tanks of Progress 11P to the FGB tankage will commence, to last about 1.5 hrs. Prior to the transfer, the FGB prop transfer system will be prepared and the SM tanks configured to feed attitude control thrusters until FGB tanks are configured for thruster feeding.

The degraded power situation in the RS continues. Appropriate USOS power sharing and load shedding plans are in place. For the present LVLH and the future XPOP attitudes, the immediate power support is adequate, with no additional SNT (voltage & current transformer/stabilizer) required, if no further deterioration occurs. [Of the eight 800A storage batteries in the SM, one is completely unusable (#4), and three more (#1, #2, and #3) are showing reduced capacity (i.e., inability to fully charge). TsUP/Moscow specialists believe that the latter can be restored to normal operations. Replacement of the failed #4 battery with the FGB spare will be scheduled in the near future. Two more 800A accumulators will be manifested on the next Progress cargo ship (12P).]

All three USOS/CHeCS radiation counters are currently down, unable to dump their accumulated file data. [TEPC (tissue equivalent proportional counter), IVCPDS (intravehicular charged particle directional spectrometer), EVCPDS (extravehicular charged particle directional spectrometer).]

Today’s CEO targets, no longer limited in the current LVLH attitude and including the targets of the Lewis & Clark 200-year memorial locations, were Delhi, India (looking a touch right. A break in the monsoon cloud masses should have allowed an opportunity), Jakarta, Indonesia (nadir pass: looking on the north coast of Java. ISS also passed right over Krakatau, the volcano island that lies in the narrow strait between Java and Sumatra [just uptrack of Jakarta]. This volcano was heard in Australia when it exploded in 1883. It still erupts intermittently), Statue of Zeus at Olympia (nadir pass), Alexandria, Egypt (nadir pass. Looking on the coast where the brightly colored salt lakes were the crew’s visual cue), Pyramids of Giza, Egypt (nadir pass. Looking on the west side of the Nile at the base of the delta), Cairo, Egypt (located at the base of the Nile delta mainly on the east side. Nadir pass), Angolan Biomass Burning (offshore flow persists. Looking obliquely right to document probable aerosol mass being advected into the tropical Atlantic. Best views obtained with ocean as background and with slight overexposure. Aerosol loadings increase in proportion to the duration of the high pressure system, now several days), Johannesburg, South Africa (nadir pass over this industrial heartland of southern Africa, which draws workers from as far afield as the Congo, and traders from North Africa), Amazonian rivers (Dynamic event. Unusually clear conditions over southern Amazonia: crew was to try for a mapping swath for ~2 mins, looking in/near the sunglint point [nadir], to document the poorly understood stream patterns of the major south-side tributaries of the Amazon), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (nadir pass), Las Vegas, NV (nadir pass), Phoenix, AZ (nadir pass), Tucson, AZ (nadir pass. Crew was also to look for waning smoke plumes from the forest fire immediately north of the city), Circular cloud mass, Mexico (Dynamic event. New storm starting up on the Pacific side of the narrow waist of Mexico, with well developed, concentric outflow bands of cloud. Nadir or a touch right of track), Lima, Peru (nadir pass), and Chao Lava, Chile (mass of lava in the high desert of the Andes, famous in science for its size, and marked by the “elephant skin” texture of the lava flow pattern).
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 (16 amp mode). 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 Purify mode (unit is off). RS air conditioner SKV-1 is On; 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) — 751; temperature (deg C) — 20.4.
  • FGB Cabin: Pressure (mmHg) — 752; temperature (deg C) — 22.3.
  • Node: Pressure (mmHg) — 741.98; temperature (deg C) — 22.4 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — 171.2; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 4.6.
  • U.S. Lab: Pressure (mmHg) — 743.81; temperature (deg C) — 23.2; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock): Pressure (mmHg) — 743.81; temperature (deg C) — 24.8; shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.0, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 23.5
  • PMA-2: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 21.8.

(n/a = data not available)

Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 3803 kg (8384 lb) as of 6/26
  • [SM(774) + FGB(2447) + Progress M(182) +Progress M-1(400)].
  • (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational. BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in directed position (Blind mode, non solar-tracking, drag reduction)..
  • SM batteries: Battery #4 is disconnected (failed 6/16); battery #8 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode. Batteries #1, #2 and #3 showing degraded capacity.
    FGB batteries: Battery #3 is offline; all other batteries (5) 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.
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.

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: -9.3 deg, roll: 0 deg]), with CMG/TA (thruster assist) Momentum Management.
  • Solar Beta angle: 2.43 deg (magnitude increasing).

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 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, 6:48am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 387.3 km
  • Apogee — 392.5 km
  • Perigee — 382.0km
  • Period — 92.30 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0007737
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
  • Solar Beta Angle — 2.43 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 90 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 26354
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.