Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 Oct 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
October 9, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 Oct 2003

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

CDR Yuri Malenchenko continued work in the FGB (funktsionalnyi-grusovoi blok) to create more stowage space by removing no-longer-needed equipment, today the module’s Kurs-A hardware from behind panel 221, and taking photographs of the gained space.

FE/SO Ed Lu terminated the 24hr. charging process for EMU batteries #2029 & #2030 in the Airlock’s battery stowage assembly (BSA).  After the required one-hour rest period, he then initiated their discharge.  The SSC laptop required for the procedure was first reconfigured for the discharge, then restored to its original settings.  [The periodic charge/discharge cycle is a maintenance feature to restore the batteries’ capacity, prolonging their useful life.]

In the Service Module (SM), Malenchenko switched channel #1 of the BMP harmful impurities unit from Regeneration back to Purify mode.  Later, he started the regeneration cycle on absorbent bed #2.  [The “baking-out” of the filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

Malenchenko collected another sample from the SRVK-2M condensate water processor in the SM, then closed out the KAV sampling configuration.

Ed Lu completed his 21st weekly filling-out of the food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), which keeps a log of his nutritional intake over time on special medical equipment computer (MEC) software.

In preparation for their Soyuz 6S return on 10/27, the two crewmembers conducted another fit check of the “Kazbeks”, the contoured shock-absorbing seats in the Soyuz descent capsule (SA).  This required them to don their Sokol pressure suits, get in their seats and use a ruler to measure the gap between the top of the head and the top edge of the structure facing the head.  The results were reported to MCC-M.   [The Kazbek-U couches are designed to withstand g-loads during launch and orbital insertion as well as during reentry and brake-rocket-assisted landing.  Each seat has two positions: cocked (armed) and noncocked. In the cocked position, they are raised to allow the shock absorbers to function during touchdown.  The fit check assures that the crew, whose bodies gain in length during longer-term stay in zero-G, will still be adequately protected by the seat liners for their touchdown in Kazakhstan on 10/20.  The third passenger, Soyuz 7S Visiting FE Pedro Duque from Spain, will bring his own custom-fitted seat liner.]

Lu retrieved the two previously (10/7) deployed sampling badges of the FMK (formaldehyde monitoring kit) and returned them to storage.  He also deactivated and collected the SSAS (solid sorbent air sampler), deployed two days ago in the center of the Lab.

The SO also attended to the daily routine maintenance of the SM SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities) and prepared the daily delta file for IMS (inventory management system) database updating.

The CDR conducted the weekly inspection/maintenance of the BRPK-2 air/liquid condensate separator of the SM’s SRVK water processing system.

At 11:30am EDT, the crew downlinked a message of greeting via Ku- and S-band, to be presented at an upcoming national gala event at the Houston Westin Hotel, marking the opening of  another Challenger Center for Space Science Education (CCSSE).  [Since the first Challenger Center was opened at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in 1988, CCSSE has grown to a vibrant network of nearly 50 Learning Centers around the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.]

After his work on the preparation of soldering coupons for the ISSI (In-Space Soldering Investigation) experiment yesterday, Ed Lu reports that about 18 coupons remain to be done.  Another 1.5 hrs. have been scheduled tomorrow (10/9) for this task.

A new task added to the crew’s “job jar” task list (hard scheduled for 10/14) will verify the accuracy of the temperature probe by hooking it up to a scopemeter and recording the cabin temperature in the Lab.  Two on-board scopemeters will also be checked and calibrated for accuracy via their voltage readings against known resistors and power supply.

The U.S. MCA (major constituents analyzer) was successfully transitioned from its Life Extending Mode (LEM) to operational mode and calibrated by comparing it to the CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) and the SM GA (gas analyzer), after the latter’s calibration by Moscow.  No deviations were observed from the previous calibration, and the MCA so far appears to work OK.  It is now back in LEM, to be occasionally brought up for further checkups. Current plan is to fly a spare MCA on the next Progress vehicle, 13P, scheduled for November.  [After the MCA experienced several shutdowns due to ion pump overcurrent, an end-of-life signature, it was recently placed into LEM to preserve the vacuum of its mass spectrometer chamber and, thus, its useful life.]
Troubleshooting continues on the internal audio controller #1 (IAC-1) which has exhibited a sharp increase in the number and frequency of failed PBITs (passive built-in-tests).  Some off-nominal behavior is also being observed on the prime IAC-2.  Since the IACs are controlling crew comm with the ground and audibility of C&W (caution & warning) tones on board, MCC-H intends to have Moscow manifest a spare IAC unit on Progress 13P.

The Airlock PCS (portable computer system) laptop locked up this morning during operation.  After two reboot attempts, it was restored to nominal function and now appears to be working OK.

Troubleshooting is underway on a Lab RPCM (remote power controller module) with a tripped RPC.  The RPCM controls, among else, the U.S. video system #1 and the prime C&C-1 MDM (command & control computer #1).

During the six-month maintenance of the TVIS treadmill on 10/6, the crew was unable to lubricate the system’s flywheel when it could not be separated from the right forward stabilizer which appears to be stuck.  Troubleshooting is underway.  [The lubrication requirement, recently added, is on a six-month basis.  Since the flywheel was installed last June, the lube job is due in November latest.].

Russia is modifying a contingency treadmill (BD-1) for flight to be used in case of TVIS chassis failure.  [Sixteen measurements of the on-orbit treadmill are required to be made by the crew to ensure that the interfacing hardware components (mounting bracket and subject positioning devices extension bracket) are being built to the correct dimensions.]

As per crew report, RED (resistive exercise device) canister #1009 has begun making scraping noise at upper load levels and intermittently at about 78% load.  There is drag on the canister cord during retraction that is slower than the aft canister.  The cord does fully retract.  They can compensate for this but it does get harder.

TsUP/Moscow is planning to conduct a test of the passive Kurs-P system in the SM tomorrow, which will involve the DC-1 antennas in the loop.

Moscow reports all launch preparations at Baikonur going well for a 10/18 liftoff, as scheduled.  [Main objectives of the flight are to deliver a new Soyuz vehicle to the ISS to be used as a rescue vehicle by the crew on board, relieve the Expedition-7 crew by delivering the Expedition-8 crew of CDR/SO Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri, and perform a series of experiments on board by ESA astronaut Pedro Duque from Spain.]

Specialists from both sides are working jointly on the final ISS attitude during docking, with the last task, thermal analysis, to be completed by Houston this week. 

Upcoming Soyuz Events:

  • 7S launch:  10/18 (Saturday), 1:37am Eastern, 9:37am Moscow, 11:37am Baikonur;
  • 7S docking:  10/20 (Monday), 3:20am Eastern, 11:20am Moscow;
  • 6S undocking:  10/27 (Monday), 6:20pm Eastern, 2:20am (10/28) Moscow;
  • 6S landing:  10/27 (Monday), 9:36pm Eastern, 5:36am (10/28) Moscow.

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 Marietta, Ohio (LEWIS & CLARK SITE:  Nadir pass.  Marietta, Ohio, is noted as the oldest settlement on the Ohio River.  It is located about ten miles upriver from Parkersburg, West Virginia where the Muskingum River enters from the north and the Ohio makes a large meander north.  On their way to St. Louis, Lewis and Clark stopped here as one of the few existing settlements), Moundsville W VA (LEWIS & CLARK SITE:  Nadir pass.  This is an early science site.  Lewis stopped [near present day Moundsville, West Virginia] to view “a remarkable artificial mound of earth” known as the Indian Grave, 310 feet in circumference at the base), Pittsburgh, PA (LEWIS & CLARK SITES:  Nadir pass.  Crew was to shoot along the Monongahela River as it winds through the city.  Having prepared himself intellectually and having secured as much equipment as he could, Lewis crossed the Appalachians in the summer of 1803, supervised the construction of his keelboat here in Pittsburgh, and started down the Ohio on August 31), Missouri River sites (LEWIS & CLARK SITES:  Track crosses the Missouri on the Nebraska-South Dakota border.  Crew was suggested to take detailed images left and right of track of the river floodplain swath to capture a series of sites in this sector upstream of Sioux City), Palmyra Atoll, Central Pacific (looking a touch left of track for these equatorial reefs), and Kingman Reef, Central Pacific (looking a touch left of track for these equatorial reefs).

 CEO images can be viewed at the websites

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 2:00pm EDT).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On, 24A (air also being supplied by Progress 12P).  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Manual Mode 5/3).  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is in Standby.  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 Regeneration mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is Off; SKV-2 is Off.
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 26.1; ppO2 (mmHg) — data invalid; ppCO2 (mmHg) — data invalid.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 20.9.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 756; temperature (deg C) — 23.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 759.16; temperature (deg C) — 24.1 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761.08; temperature (deg C) — 24.3; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 761.28; temperature (deg C) — 28.2; shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.1, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.2
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 14.2.

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Autotrack (solar tracking, biased for drag reduction). 
  • SM batteries:  Battery #5 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode (battery #1 is degraded). 
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #6 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): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational; string #2 dropped out 9/26.
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.

Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 3899 kg (8596 lb) as of 10/2  [SM(755) + FGB(2792) + 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:

  • XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane = “sun-fixed” [yaw: 0.5 deg, pitch: -6.9 deg., roll: 0 deg]), with CMG TA (thruster assist).

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, 7:26am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 381.1 km
  • Apogee — 385.3 km
  • Perigee — 377.0 km
  • Period — 92.2 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006166
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.62
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 125 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 27886
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.