Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 Sep 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
September 6, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 Sep 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Saturday, day off for the crew.

After wake-up (at the regular 2:00am EDT), morning inspection, post-sleep activities and breakfast, the crew undertook the standard 3-hr. station cleaning that is usually done on Saturday.   [This includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, wet cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table and other surfaces with “Fungistat” disinfectant and cleaning fan screens to avoid temperature rises.]

At SM window #2, CDR Yuri Malenchenko dismantled the GFI-10 Molniya-SM-LSO geophysical experiment, powered down yesterday, and stowed the gear at its location in the FGB. 

At SM window #9, working off the Russian task list, Yuri also disassembled and removed the Molniya VFS-3M UV (ultraviolet) video-photo spectrometer equipment for stowage, putting protective covers on the lenses.

A second new item on Malenchenko’s discretionary task list for today was picture taking behind SM panel locations (#338 & #228), to help evaluate the possibility of later installation of four new navigation receiving (NPM) units and two navigation calculating (NVM) devices.  [The images were to be taken with the Kodak 760 or Nikon D1 digital camera, showing several views of the areas in question, and then downlinked via OCA for evaluation by TsUP/Moscow.]

A third task list item for Malenchenko was to configure final power connections for the new Russian payload Laptop-3 and the comm Laptop-PAKET, using a new U.S. power source located by the crew and a former SSC-1 cable provided by the U.S. side.

The CDR conducted the daily routine maintenance of SOZh life support systems (including toilet facility, food containers, water containers and solid waste containers) and performed the regular periodic inspection of the BRPK-1 air/liquid condensate separator in the SM, while Ed Lu attended to the preparation of the daily automated IMS (inventory management system) database file update.

The Science Officer also performed the regular once-a-week maintenance reboot on the operational PCS (portable computer system) laptops in the station.

Both crewmembers completed their daily 2.5-h program of physical (aerobic & anaerobic) exercise, on TVIS treadmill, CEVIS bike, RED expander and on the Russian VELO cycle ergometer with load trainer.

FE/SO Ed Lu completed the regular periodic transfer of data files from the TVIS and RED to the MEC (medical equipment computer) via memory card and RED log entries, for downlink on OCA comm.  Subsequently, he also transferred accumulated data files from the wrist-band HRM (heart rate monitor) receiver stations to the MEC for downlink, then deleted them on the HRM. 

After yesterday’s successful attitude maneuver, the station flies again in sun-oriented XPOP mode (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane), momentum-controlled by the U.S. CMGs (control moment gyroscopes), with TA (Russian thruster assist) for momentum desaturation.  [Yaw:  0.6 deg, Pitch: -6.8 deg., Roll: 0 deg]

Moscow uplinked instructions for use of the new Motorola-9505 Iridium phone and Garmin GPS (global positioning system) receiver brought up by Progress 12P.  Both systems and their batteries and antennas are to be transferred to the Soyuz TMA-2 descent module and stowed in the ODF (operational data file) container, to be available for the Soyuz 6S return on 10/28.  Also, pending safety certification (in work), the Iridium phone must not be activated on board and its battery not recharged without prior Go from Mission Control.

Today’s CEO (crew earth observation) 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 Eastern Mediterranean Dust (dust plumes probable over the Gulf of Sidra [NE Libya].  Looking right towards the African coast), Statue of Zeus at Olympia (nadir pass.  The site lies inland from the coast), Hurricane Fabian, NW Atlantic (well formed storm over Bermuda, with ISS tracking right over the eye), Navassa Island, Caribbean (nadir pass over this reef-fringed island between Jamaica and Haiti), Midway Islands (nadir pass and a touch left.  Coral reef mapping site), Johnston Island, Central Pacific (nadir and a touch left. Coral reef mapping site), Johannesburg, South Africa (much interest in the growth of this megacity, as workers from neighboring countries flood into the urban areas.  The Witwatersrand cities are an economic magnet even north of the equator, with handicrafts from Libya arriving for the tourist trade in southernmost Africa), High Central Andean Glaciers (tropical glaciers imaged with high magnification lenses are proving usable for ice-cap size mapping.  Looking a touch left along the high Andes for about 2 mins.), Lima, Peru (offshore wind flow should make this usually foggy city open to view.  Nadir pass.  It may be possible to image the city in one, certainly two, 180-mm images), and Tuamotu Archipelago (ideal pass along the axes of this double island chain.  Coral reef mapping is the main interest).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning,7:25am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 381.4m
  • Apogee  385.5 km
  • Perigee — 377.3 km
  • Period — 92.2 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006099
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.62
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 180 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 27370
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.