Status Report

Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 May 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
May 19, 2003
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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.   Week 3 for Increment 7.

After station inspection and morning hygiene, before breakfast and first exercise, CDR Yuri Malenchenko and FE/SO Edward Lu underwent their second session of the periodic Russian biomedical assessments PZEh-MO-8 (body mass measurement) and PZEh-MO-7 (calf volume measurement).  [Malenchenko set up the BMM mass measuring device, which uses calibrated springs to determine the subject’s mass in weightless space, and stowed it away after the tests.  Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the ISOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference points, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures.]

After a familiarization period with the InSPACE (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) experiment,  Science Officer Lu activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) for another InSPACE run.  Today’s was the fifth of nine planned tests with CA005 (coil assembly #5), containing 0.4 micron particles, using one field strength and two electric field frequency values during the all-day monitoring and switching of the video cassette.  The MSG was later powered down.  [InSPACE obtains basic data on magnetorheological fluids, i.e., a new class of “smart materials” that can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear, and vibration damper systems.  Today’s run included two monitor activities instead of the originally planned one at the mid-point of the run, during which the mode was switched from “Pulse” to “Steady”.]

In the Service Module (SM), Yuri Malenchenko started another regeneration cycle on absorbent bed #1 of the BMP harmful impurities unit, leaving channel 2 in Purify mode.  [The “bakeout” cycle in the filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

Ed Lu initiated nominal maintenance recharge on two EMU batteries (#2029 & #2030) in the BSA (battery stowage assembly), expected to take about 24 hours.  [Helmet light and PGT (pistol grip tool) batteries are not included in the recharge process.]

Lu also completed the microbial analysis of the air and surface swab samples collected last week with SSK (surface sampler kit) and MAS (microbial air sampler) at the T+5d incubation point.  [Because of downmass limitations due to the Shuttle stand-down, the samples cannot be returned to the Microbiology Lab for further analysis on the ground, as usual, but were discarded as wet trash after the analysis.]

The two crewmembers began preparations for next week’s planned EVA/EMU spacesuit don/doff dry-run (5/28) for a two-person spacewalk, should it become necessary.  Today’s task was to review training files and video from a CD, among else on how to adjust suit sizes and conduct a fit check.

Malenchenko performed the daily routine maintenance of SOZh life support systems and prepared the daily IMS (inventory management system) “delta” file for updating the IMS database, while Ed Lu checked up on the status of Lab payloads (PCG-STES, SAMS, MAMS).

Yuri also completed the weekly maintenance of the TVIS treadmill, and both crewmembers performed their daily physical exercise program on TVIS, RED expander, CEVIS cycle and VELO ergometer with load trainer.

Last Friday’s attempted transition at MCC-Houston from primary to backup ground support hardware did not go well.  Some systems temporarily lost their functionality, viz., space-to-ground (S/G) communications for 3h, onboard telemetry for about 1 hr and command capability for 10 min.  By midnight Friday, full capability was regained.  All systems are currently back on prime string.  The failure is under investigation.

The RPCM (remote power controller module ) of the 4B PCU (plasma contactor unit) has failed with a health flag.  Recovery is underway.

MCC-Moscow is preparing to have Malenchenko replace the failed #8 battery in the SM with the spare 800A from the FGB module in the next few days.

Moscow is also getting ready to begin work in preparation for the arrival of the next Progress cargo ship, 11P, on 6/10 (launch 6/8).  The mission reportedly will involve new procedures.

The crew was requested to “yellow-tag” and stow a Sony digital camera launched on Soyuz TMA-2/6S without proper safety certification.  [Yellow caution tags designate onboard equipment for which the safety certification process for USOS (U.S. segment) or RS (Russian segment) has not been completed.]

The reboot of the EXPRESS Rack 1 (ER1) last Friday, 5/16, by POC (Payload Operations Center) was successful.  [ER1 had stopped communicating with its two autonomous payloads, SAMS (space acceleration measurement system) and MAMS (microgravity acceleration measurement system).]

POC is also working at capturing data dumps from the ER4 laptop, to troubleshoot the “hang-up” between the ER4 RIC (rack interface controller) serial card and the laptop HRDL (high rate data link) card.

Today’s CEO (crew earth observations) targets, now no longer restricted by the Lab science window ruled off-limit due to flight attitude, were Johannesburg, South Africa (nadir pass), Havana, Cuba (nadir pass), Amazon basin (Dynamic event.  Sun glint opportunity to capture detail of waterways on the Amazon’s wide floodplain [lakes, swamplands and prior courses of the Amazon River]), Sao Paulo, Brazil (nadir pass), Guadalajara, Mexico (nadir pass), Lima, Peru (nadir pass), Johnston Island Reef (nadir pass over this remote coral reef.  Detailed views needed for a global mapping project), Anatahan Volcano, W Pacific (volcano just left of track, is part of the Northern Mariana Island chain.  It may have been visible between cloud masses), Detroit, Michigan (city at night; nadir pass), Beijing, China (city at night; a touch left of track), Tianjin, China (city at night; nadir pass.  This is Beijing’s major port city on Bohai Gulf), Bombay, India (city at night; nadir pass), and Brasilia, Brazil (city at night; nadir pass).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites and

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:50pm 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 (manual mode 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 Regeneration 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) — 27.6; ppO2 (mmHg) — data invalid; ppCO2 (mmHg) — data invalid.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 751; temperature (deg C) — 21.4.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 748; temperature (deg C) — 21.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 743.25; temperature (deg C) — 22.5 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 745.73; temperature (deg C) — 22.3; ppO2 (mmHg) — 171.0; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 4.4.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):  Pressure (mmHg) — 745.73; temperature (deg C) — 28.7; shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.7, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.0.
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 13.6.

(n/a = data not available)

Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 3576 kg (7884 lb) as of 5/15 [SM(774) + FGB(2550) + Progress(252)].  (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both “directed” (non-solar tracking) mode (“sun slicer” position, for drag reduction).
  • SM batteries:  Battery #4 is disconnected; battery #8 is failed; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode (battery #2 is exhibiting degraded performance).
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #4 is disconnected; 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 On (primary); PL-1 MDM is On
  • APS-1 (automated payload switch #1) and APS-2 are both On.
  • SM Terminal Computer (TVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational. Being upgraded.
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational. Being upgraded.

Attitude Control Systems:

  • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed).
  • State vector source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Attitude source — U.S. SIGI-2 (GPS)
  • Angular rate source — RGA-2

Flight Attitude:

  • LVLH -YVV (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, -y-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -90 deg, pitch: -6.8 deg, roll: -3.4 deg]), with CMG/TA (thruster assist) Momentum Management.
  • Solar Beta angle:  65.5 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 at WS4, with KA power. 
  • POA: KA power on both strings.
  • RWS (robotics workstations): Lab RWS is Off; Cupola RWS is Off.

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 7:19am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 389.5 km
  • Apogee — 393.5 km
  • Perigee — 385.4 km
  • Period — 92.34 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005996
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.59
  • Solar Beta Angle — 65.5 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 50 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 25652
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.