Status Report

Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 May 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
May 20, 2003
Filed under , ,
Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 May 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.   Week 3 for Increment 7 is underway.

CDR Yuri Malenchenko started the day by terminating the bake-out/regeneration cycle for adsorption bed #1 of the BMP micropurification unit and switching it back to Purify mode.  Later, he initiated regeneration on filter channel 2.  [The regeneration of the air purifier filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

Malenchenko then placed the new Russian laptop 3 in service (the old one was configured for Regul-Packet comm and is now called “Laptop-Packet”), setting it up for the biomedical MBI-9 “Pulse” experiment, which he performed before his physical exercise.  [These tests are done monthly.  Execution of the medical cardiological assessment is controlled from the laptop, using a set respiration rate (without forced or deep breaths) and synchronizing respiration with computer-commanded “inhale” commands.  Before the experiment, arterial blood pressure and heart rate is measured with the “Tensoplus” sphygmomanometer.  Results were reported to MCC-M during a subsequent tag-up with a ground specialist.]

FE/SO Edward Lu powered up the HRF GASMAP (Human Research Facility/Gas Analyzer System for Metabolic Analysis Physiology) for its new 30-day functionality test.  After a ten-hour run, the system was to be powered down again.

Ed Lu undertook the monthly water sampling for in-flight chemistry/microbiology analysis, using approved Russian sampling procedures with the U.S. WS&A (water sampler & archiver) for collection and the WMK (water microbiology kit) for processing within 6 hrs. of the collection.  [Samples were taken in the SM at the potable water SRV-K hot port and from the EDV container of the SVO-ZV water supply system.]

Malenchenko performed routine maintenance on the SM toilet system (ASU), replacing its E-K pretreat container plus hose with a new assembly and discarding old one.  Yuri also recorded the SPKU counter reading of the SP toilet flush system before and after filling the E-K hose for downlink.   [E-K contains five liters of pre-treat solution, i.e., a mix of H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), CrO3 (chromium oxide, for oxidation and purple color), and H2O (water).  The pre-treat liquid is mixed with water in a dispenser (DKiV) and used for toilet flushing.]

Ed Lu terminated the recharging of the first of two EMU/spacesuit batteries in the BSA (battery stowage assembly), started yesterday, and initiated the process on the second battery.

In preparation for next week’s (5/28) EMU don/doff dry-run, both crewmembers then reviewed the EMU C&W (caution & warning) system and the procedures for operating the SAFERs (simplified aid for EVA rescue).

After recharging the Russian DVCAM (digital video camera) battery, the CDR prepared the video footage of the Soyuz thruster plumes during the 5S deorbit burn, the Earth’s limb and a portion of Turkish landmass recorded on 5/4 with the geo-physical GFI-1 Relaksatsiya (“relaxation”) experiment.  Later, at 11:55am EDT, he downlinked it to TsUP/MCC-M.  [Relaksatsiya, using an UV (ultraviolet) camera with spectrometer at SM window #9, deals with the study of the chemoluminescent chemical reactions and atmospheric light phenomena (emissions) that occur during high-velocity interaction between the exhaust products from space vehicles and the atmosphere at orbital altitude and during the entry of space vehicles into the Earth’s upper atmosphere.  Purpose of the 5/4 experiment was to record the TMA-1 thruster plumes (by UV-video) at 9:12pm and the emission layer of the atmosphere at the Earth’s limb at 9:17pm.]

Ed performed the daily routine maintenance of SOZh life support systems, while Yuri prepared the daily IMS (inventory management system) “delta” file for updating the IMS database.

Both crewmembers completed their daily physical exercise program on TVIS, RED expander, CEVIS cycle and VELO ergometer with load trainer.

The Science Officer was thanked in the morning for yesterday’s successful InSPACE run in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox).  [As Ed reported, and the video camera showed, formation of the desired paramagnetic microstructures was most visible during the periods of steady magnetic field strength.  During the initial steady period, the pattern formed from the chains tips, followed by some apparent structure development after that.  Pattern changed again later, with the largest microstructures looking thicker after the field frequency changed from 2 Hz to 0.66 Hz.  These are entirely new and as yet unexplained observations.]

During the day, TsUP was scheduled to perform another test correction of the SM’s BINS strap-down navigation/guidance system via S-band comm, using Zvezda’s solar sensor (SD251K) and infrared horizon sensor (IKV256K).  [Today’s test correction, in LVLH -YVV attitude, did not require free drift or attitude change.  BINS is a platform-less (or, in NASA parlance, “strap-down”) inertial navigation system (INS), which uses a complex mathematical model of spatial relationships (axes, rotations, angular velocities and accelerations) instead of the gyro-stabilized and gimbaled platform of a more conventional INS.  To check and correct the unavoidable drift of the internal reference orientation, the standard procedure was to take optical sightings of reference stars; attitude rates are obtained from the GIVUS high-accuracy state sensors.  Today, periodic updates of the BINS come from the U.S. GPS (global positioning system).]

Ground investigation continues of the IAC (internal audio controller) which on 4/5 (and previously on 12/6/02) transitioned from IAC-2 to IAC-1 and back to IAC-2 after a few minutes.  On 5/16, during a checkout of this issue, IAC-1 detected a PBIT error during a power on self test (POST), which was cleared, followed bysuccessful S/G (space-to-ground) voice checks on IAC-1. IAC-2 is nowthe prime IAC.  [If IAC-2fails and FDIR (failure detection, isolation, and recovery) kicks in, IAC-1 will attempt to become active, possibly experiencing another PBIT error that would cause FDIR to transition back to IAC-2. Further assessment is underway.]

Today’s CEO (crew earth observations) targets, now no longer restricted by the Lab science window ruled off-limit due to flight attitude (although lighting conditions are worsening in the northern hemisphere and improving in the southern), were Dakar, Senegal (city just left of track.  Also, dust was reported exiting the Sahara in the region.  Oblique views should capture this relatively light aerosol loading), Patagonian Glaciers (light improving rapidly at the bottom of the orbit.  Unusual clearing on the Pacific side of the two southern Andean ice sheets, where little detailed imagery of glacier end-point lobes is available.  Detailed nadir views requested), Anatahan volcano, N Marianas (Dynamic event.  Looking right ~3 degrees from track.  Low sun angles in this early morning opportunity perhaps revealed ash in the atmosphere), Seattle, Washington (city at night; nadir pass), Jakarta, Indonesia (city at night; nadir pass), El Paso, Texas (city at night; nadir pass), Hyderabad, India (city at night; nadir pass), Baghdad, Iraq (city at night; nadir pass; should have had enough lights on to identify the city), and Rome, Italy (city at night; nadir pass).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites and

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:30pm 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 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) — 27.8; ppO2 (mmHg) — data invalid; ppCO2 (mmHg) — data invalid.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 751; temperature (deg C) — 22.0.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 752; temperature (deg C) — 22.3.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744.52; temperature (deg C) — 22.4 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 746.53; temperature (deg C) — 22.5; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):  Pressure (mmHg) — 746.53; temperature (deg C) — 27.5; shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.0, ppO2 (mmHg) — 170.8; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 4.6.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.2.
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 13.3.

(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:  68.7 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, 7:56am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 389.4 km
  • Apogee — 393.5 km
  • Perigee — 385.4 km
  • Period — 92.34 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006016
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.59
  • Solar Beta Angle — 68.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 40 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 25668
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.