Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 Nov 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
November 3, 2003
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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.

“Telephone and Telegraph Day” on board:  The crew performed a major 3-hr. routine maintenance job on the RS (Russian segment)’s STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem, including its audio paths and comm stations.  As part of the activity, FE Alex Kaleri and CDR/SO Mike Foale also tested VHF receivers, conducted an inventory audit of headsets and cables with push-to-talk units, and finally switched the STTS to its backup string for report to MCC-M on ISS orbit 28279 (Daily Orbit 11), ~10:00am EST.   [The “Voskhod-M” STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC-1 and USOS (US segment), and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM’s outside.  There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels plus an intercom channel.  Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet, and TORU docking support.  Last time done: 5/13/03.]

Kaleri conducted an inventory of hardware plug-ins in RS power outlets.   [Information on how the crew uses power outlets in the RS is required by TsUP to schedule future activities.  For the inventory, a list of panels and power outlets was uplinked, with connected hardware to be filled in by Kaleri.]

Both crewmembers worked on the CMRS (crew medical restraint system), stowed in the CHeCS (crew health care systems) rack, performing checkout, inspection and troubleshooting.   [Objectives were (1) to establish interim CMRS operational capability with a medically acceptable workaround to a torso strap buckle that will not remain engaged in the board, so that adequate restraint and capability for quick release remains assured, and (2) to complete inspection of CMRS for cracks in the board and/or metal fastener exposed on top of CMRS (found on the ground units), either of which could provide a high-voltage defibrillation ground path from the patient to ISS structure.  The board-like CMRS allows strapping down a patient on the board with a harness for medical attention by the CMO (crew medical officer) who is also provided with restraints around the device.  The device can be secured to the ISS structure within two minutes to provide a patient restraint surface for performing emergency medical procedures, such as during ACLS (advanced cardiac life support).  It can also be used to transport a patient between the station and the Orbiter middeck.  It isolates the crew and equipment electrically during defibrillations and pacing electrical discharges, accommodates the patient in the supine zero-G positions, provides cervical spine stabilization and, for a three-person crew, can also restrain two CMOs (crew medical officers) during their delivery of medical care.]

CDR Foale reconfigured the USOS plug-in plan by modifying the load configuration of the Lab UOP-3 (utility outlet panel #3).  [The 30-min. task consisted of locating and connecting cables to connect the second Ku-band power supply and the HRF (human research facility) power strip to the UOP-3.]

Later, Mike unstowed, set up and performed the re-activation of the EarthKAM (EK) payload, which he installed at the Lab (nadir) science window.  On Thursday (11/6), the SO will change EK lenses from 50mm to 180mm.   [EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students) is using an ESC 460C electronic still camera mounted at the Lab’s down-facing window, currently equipped with a 50mm lens (f1.4). Powered by 16Vdc from a 120 Vdc adapter, EK takes pictures by remote operation from the ground, without crew interaction. It is available for students who submit image requests and conduct geographic research. The requests are uplinked in a camera control file to an IBM 760XD SSC (station support computer) laptop which then activates the camera at specified times and receives the digital images from the camera’s storage card on its hard drive, for subsequent downlink via OPS LAN.]

Sasha attended to the daily routine maintenance of the SM SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities), while Mike conducted the regular routine checkup of autonomous ISS-8 payloads in the Lab, currently the PCG-STES010 (Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System).

Mike also called down the “ad hoc” O2 partial pressure of the cabin air.  [O2 data for trending analyses by the ground are collected daily by the crew with the U.S. CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products).]

Both crewmembers worked out with their daily 2.5-h program of physical exercise, on TVIS treadmill, RED expander, and VELO cycle with load trainer.

The crewmembers again had a “free” hour each for station familiarization and acclimatization, as is standard daily rule for the first two weeks after starting station residency.

At 6:45am EST, MCC-H commanded heater activation in PMA-2 (pressurized mating adapter #2), preparatory to tomorrow’s hatch opening and ingress by the crew.  [This is in preparation of the upcoming major task of stowage consolidation, to relocate U.S. equipment from ISS modules to PMA-2 in order to provide better accessibility to safety-critical locations, such as panel fire ports.  About 9 hours crewtime have been is budgeted for this task.  The PMA-2 heaters will be turned off again on Thursday.]

At 11:40pm EST last night, ISS was maneuvered by RS thrusters to LVLH XVV flight attitude (local vertical/local horizontal — x-axis in velocity vector).  Attitude control was then handed back to U.S. CMG momentum management.

The onboard OCA (Orbital Communication Adapter) comm router failed last Friday (10/31) and was replaced with another laptop, whose hard disk was reformatted/configured appropriately, restoring OCA capability.

Over the weekend, the EXPRESS rack #1 (ER1) laptop locked up and failed to reboot properly.  Troubleshooting is underway.

The MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer) spare unit will be ready for delivery and subsequent shipment to Baikonur later this week.  The unit is manifested on Progress 13P, whose launch is expected to be rescheduled for early next year.

TsUP/MCC-Moscow plans to restart/resync the SM’s Terminal Computer (TVM) on Thursday (11/6).  The TVM dropped its Lane 2 from the redundant set of three strings on 9/26 and has been working on two.

TsUP is also planning a periodic efficiency test on the solar arrays of the FGB module, currently set for 11/11 (last time done: 4/3/03).   [The periodic Russian efficiency testing keeps track of the energy-output performance of the photovoltaics over time under the degrading effects of the space environment (mostly from ultraviolet radiation and atomic oxygen). Since the test requires the full power output of the solar arrays and the FGB itself does not have sufficient loads for drawing it, the U.S. side has been requested to increase U.S. loads up to 1200 W, increasing and decreasing in steps of ~200 W each two minutes.]

Today’s CEO (crew earth observations) targets, limited in the current XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, and including the targets of the Lewis & Clark 200-year memorial locations, were Dakar, Senegal (looking a touch left on the prominent cape that juts into the Atlantic), Cape Town, South Africa (this pass inland of the port city allowed a panorama of the complex coast and major mountain ranges around Cape Town), Atlanta, Georgia (this large city is nestled within a series of wooded ridges: detecting the limits of the urban region is thus more difficult than for most cities), Lower Amazon River Basin (good pass on the inshore side of the Amazon estuary.  Detailed images requested of all coastlines), El Paso, Texas (looking a touch right on the Rio Grande where the river breaks through the rankling Mountains. Ciudad Juarez is the larger city on the Mexican side of the border), and La Paz, Bolivia (looking a touch right for this unique city located on the lip of the Andean plateau, the airport and slums on the cold, flat plateau, and the rest of the city extending thousands of feet lower down into the warmer canyons).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:16pm EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On, 17A.  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Manual Mode 5/3).  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is Operating in single-bed mode after failure/shutdown.  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) — 26.8; ppO2 (mmHg) — 160.6; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 4.6.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 765; temperature (deg C)  20.2.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 760; temperature (deg C) — 20.7.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 758.52; temperature (deg C) — 22.3 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 762.27; temperature (deg C) — 24.3; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 760.37; temperature (deg C) — 25.8; shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.5, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.7
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.9

(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 off (still in slot #8); battery #2 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode (batteries #1 and #3 are degraded). 
  • FGB batteries:  Batteries #1 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): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational; string #2 dropped out 9/26.
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational; string #3 dropped out 10/22.

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available: 3856 kg (8501b) as of 10/23  [SM(755) + FGB(2749) + 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 YVV (y-axis in velocity vector, i.e. flying “sidewise”) [yaw: -90 deg, pitch: -8.9 deg., roll: 1.8 deg]), with CMG 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 last night, 6:08pm EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 377.5 km
  • Apogee — 381.9 km
  • Perigee — 373.1 km
  • Period — 92.1 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.000647
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.63
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 28268
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.