Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 Sep 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
September 3, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 Sep 2003

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

CDR Yuri Malenchenko continued integration of the newly arrived Progress M-48/12P into the ISS/Service Module (SM) systems, today installing the LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251M1B) of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry system and its ROM (read-only memory) unit (PZU/TA765B) in the cargo module, a 1.5 hr task.

Later in the day, MCC-Moscow, via RGS (Russian ground sites), enabled a control algorithm for purging and leak checking the 12P’s fuel and oxidizer refueling lines, which are now mechanically connected to the SM and thence to the FGB.

FE/SO Ed Lu started the deployment of the four new New Generation Laptop (NGL) machines brought up by 12P.   [The work assignment consisted of, first, backing up the data of the SSC (station support computer) file server (a new NGL since 7/16/03), then reloading it with fresh software to recognize the new machines and restoring its data.  Then, the four IBM ThinkPad A31p laptops were installed, taking over the functions of MPSD (multi-purpose support drive), SSC VT (videoconference terminal), and the SSC-5 and SSC-4 clients from the older IBM ThinkPad 760XD models.  The latter will be reloaded, and one 760 will be reconfigured to replace SSC-1 in the SM.]

Ed Lu worked another science session on the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) rack with the fourth PFMI (Pore Formation & Mobility Investigation) run, activating the rack, installing the sample, monitoring proper computer startup and sample processing, and at the end removing the important videotape with the results.  Today’s sample was PFMI-13.

Yuri conducted the routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system, prepared the daily IMS “delta” file for automatic export/import to update the database and conducted the periodic maintenance/inspection of the BRPK air/water condensate separator.  Ed completed the regular routine status checkup of the autonomously running ISS-7 Lab payloads.

Malenchenko worked briefly on the Russian Molniya-SM experiment, replacing the magneto-optical disk #5 of the BFS-3M video-photometric system with disk #6, then stowing #5.

Yuri also conducted more observations for the Diatomeya ocean research program, collecting photo and video imagery depicting highly bioproductive waters of the Atlantic and North Pacific oceans.  [Both visual observations and photo/video shooting were to be done in nadir, using the NIKON F5 digital still camera with 80-mm lens to shoot 1-2 frames per each target, and the DVCAM 150 digital camcorder for video imagery, while recording running voice commentary using the camcorder’s mike.  For the still photography, Yuri used SM window #8, for the continually running camcorder window #7.  Specific targets included the Pacific waters along the US western seaboard (W of Los Angeles and San Diego), and the W coast of South America (Peruvian upwelling at the latitude of Lima).]

The station’s cabin atmosphere is now periodically refreshed with gaseous oxygen (O2) from Progress 11P O2 tanks (no repress required today).  Following yesterday’s repress, the crew reported an O2 concentration of 21.8% last night.   [The Elektron electrolysis apparatus for generating oxygen (and hydrogen) continues to be off, conserving both its service life and water.  The cabin repress valve cycling by the crew relies on the U.S. MCA (major constituents analyzer) as primary instrument to measure the ppO2 (oxygen partial pressure).  Flight Rule limit for O2 concentration continues to be 24.1%.  With a newly determined error margin of plus/minus 2 mmHg for the MCA (to be regularly re-evaluated), the maximum allowable station O2 concentration is 23.8% as read by the MCA.  Total cabin pressure is measured by the SM’s manometer instrument, which also has an instrument error to be taken into account.]

At 9:55am EDT, Ed Lu participated in a standard-format interactive interview with television station KCAU-TV in Sioux City, IA.  [Sioux City area high school students were invited to the KCAU-TV studios to watch the interview.  The event was live on NASA TV and was taped by KCAU for later playback.]

At 12:12pm EDT, the crew engaged in a ham radio pass with amateur radio fans at Boulder High School, Boulder CO.  [Founded in 1875 as part of the University of Colorado, Boulder High is one of Colorado’s oldest and finest high schools, maintaining strong traditions in academics, athletics and activities.  Its alumni include Mercury Astronaut Scott Carpenter.]

As reported yesterday, in preparation for the 12P docking on 8/30, MCC-Moscow uplinked the ISS docking attitude preload program (cyclogram) prematurely.  As a result, the SM thrusters tried for about three minutes to control ISS attitude at the same time the U.S. CMG’s (control moment gyroscopes) had control.  MCC-Houston engineers are reviewing the data to assess any possible long-term impacts to the ISS structure.  Approximately 6.6 kg of propellant were consumed during this timeframe.  ]During a nominal attitude control handover, the ISS vehicle is commanded to free drift to prevent the attitude control systems from being in conflict.]

Undocking of Progress 12P is scheduled for tomorrow at 3:39pm EDT.  After separation, the cargo ship will maneuver in its own orbit to observe targets in northern Russia with the Klest-M TV camera for several days before deorbiting.  [Progress vehicles have been used before for such observational activities, the last time in September 2002 by M-46/8P, which orbited Earth separately for 21 days.]

The EMU/spacesuit #3005 mid-term checkout is scheduled for 9/5 (Friday).  [Certification of the U.S. EMUs (extravehicular mobility units) is dependent on regular maintenance.  While on orbit this is defined as a modified (mid-term) checkout within 369 days of the latest EVA, mid-term checkout or ground-based PIA (pre-installation acceptance test).]

Safety specialists of both sides are working the issue of the Motorola-9505 satphone battery which has not been certified as yet for recharge on orbit.  The Iridium phone is to be flown on the returning Soyuz 6S next month.

Today’s CEO (crew earth observation) targets, taking into account the current LVLH attitude, and including the targets of the Lewis & Clark 200-year memorial locations, were Tigris-Euphrates, Turkey (nadir pass over Tigris valley and the new dams just constructed or under construction), E Mediterranean aerosol (haze reported from weather stations along the Egyptian coastline.  Looking left of track and shoot obliques.  Cairo is known for some of the worst air pollution in the world, partly due to its position in the shallow Nile valley, preventing smog dispersion, and partly due to the lead smelting industry [recycling used batteries from many parts of Europe].  Lead poisoning is rife among children), Seattle, WA (looking a touch right for views of Puget Sound.  Vancouver a touch left), Lemhi Pass, ID/MT (LEWIS & CLARK SITE:  Shooting mountain range crests [dark forest green, as opposed to lighter, browner river valleys] at nadir, and the crew should have gotten this minor, unpaved pass over the continental divide.  The explorers crossed here into Idaho on August 12, 1805), Sao Paulo, Brazil (nadir pass over South America’s largest city and one of the largest in the world [~24 million]), and Buenos Aires, Argentina (nadir pass).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:57pm EDT).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered Off (O2 being supplied by Progress 11P).  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 Regeneration 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) — data invalid; ppCO2 (mmHg) — data invalid.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 19.1.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 752; temperature (deg C) — 21.3.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 747.07; temperature (deg C) — 22.5 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 749.16; temperature (deg C) — 23.6; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):  Pressure (mmHg) — 749.26; temperature (deg C) — 22.5; shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.9, ppO2 (mmHg) — 172.5; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 4.2.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 23.4
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 19.2.

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in tri-angle “blind” mode (non-solar tracking).
  • SM batteries:  Battery #2 is failed and off; battery #7 is in Discharge mode; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode (battery #1 is degraded). 
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #1 is disconnected; 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-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-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-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.

Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 3657 kg (8062 lb) as of 8/28  [SM(755) + FGB(2902) + Progress M(0) +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 (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, -y-axis in velocity 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).
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • HCOR (high-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SRMS/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,6:57am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 382.1km
  • Apogee  386.4 km
  • Perigee — 377.7 km
  • Period — 92.2 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006442
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.62
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 75 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 27307
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.