Status Report

Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 May 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
May 22, 2003
Filed under , ,
Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 May 2003

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

After a 2:00am (EDT) wake-up and before breakfast, CDR Yuri Malenchenko completed the periodic Russian MedOps test MO-10 “Hematocrit”, measuring the red blood cell count (hematocrit) of his blood.  Science Officer Edward Lu assisted by performing the blood draw from his finger with a perforator lancet.  [The samples were then centrifuged in two microcapillary tubes in the M-1100 kit’s minicentrifuge and its hematocrit value was read off the tubes with a magnifying glass.  It is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell count (normal range: 30-45%) tends to go down over time., probably as a function of (rich) oxygen partial pressure in the onboard atmosphere.]

Malenchenko also conducted the MBI-1 SPRUT-K experiment, part of Russian medical research on the distribution and behavior of human body fluids in zero gravity.  [The experiment involves use of  the Sprut (“squid”) securing harness, skin electrodes (cuffs) and the new laptop 3 with the power supply unit from the old one, now called laptop-Packet, which was then readied again for Regul-Packet comm.]

Malenchenko’s planned session with the MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation during graded exercises on the VELO cycle ergometer was deferred to a later date.

FE/SO Ed Lu performed the in-flight T+2d analysis of the water samples collected on 5/20, taking pictures of the samples after their incubation/growth period.  The pictures were then downlinked to MCC-H for chemistry/microbiology analysis.  [The images turned out to be somewhat corrupted with air, which had been allowed to enter.  Results sufficed, however, to clear the potable water for use.  The next microbial analysis with the U.S. WS&A (water sampler & archiver) for collection and the WMK (water microbiology kit) is scheduled in one month.]

Research/science lead personnel at MCC-H and POC (Payload Operations Center) successfully conducted the first science conference with the crew, discussing the payload program planned for Increment 7 with Science Officer Lu.

POC personnel also tagged up with the crew to discuss the upcoming on-orbit demonstrations of the NASA HQ-sponsored EPO (Educational Payload Operations) program.

Yuri Malenchenko conducted an extensive inventory audit of RS (Russian segment) equipment and supplies, checking items and their locations off against a lengthy list uplinked by MCC-M overnight.

The crew set up their video equipment to record a TVIS (treadmill with vibration isolation and stabilization) exercise video, following specific instructions on video shots required by the medical ground team.  They conducted the regular physical exercise protocol on the treadmill, followed by workout sessions on the RED (resistive exercise device) and the Russian VELO bike with load trainer.

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.

At 10:55am EDT, Malenchenko and Lu configured the video equipment to conduct a live-TV downlink in an interactive 20-min. educational Q&A session with middle school students and Nichelle Nichols (“Lt. Uhura” from Star Trek) at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, IL.  A list of student questions had been uplinked beforehand.  [“What is the process for a person to be considered for a spaceflight and how long do you have to wait to go?”; “What interested you in going into space and what convinced you to be an astronaut?”; “Do you ever get scared in space?”]

Ed Lu was thanked by the InSPACE (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) experiment’s PI for yesterday’s highly successful session in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), in particular also for the quality of images provided to the ground for first-look analysis.  [InSPACE did not require use of the MSG gloves.  Next run is scheduled for tomorrow, two more runs for next week.]

The outboard lower (nadir) external TV camera (ETVC) on camera port 3 (CP3), is not responding to Tilt Down commands.   Current angles are 83 deg pan, 91 deg tilt.  [This behavior has been observed before and may be attributable to a connector cable that is caught on structure.  The ground has ceased any further attempts to tilt the camera down and is developing a plan to obtain imagery to help determine the cause of the problem, but the SSRMS (space station remote manipulator system) is currently not in a favorable position for observing with its video cameras.]

All four EMU/spacesuit batteries have now been recharged successfully.

Carbon dioxide partial pressure (ppCO2) readings in the Lab module show 4.8 mmHg, with slowly rising trend.  Measurements in the Service Module (SM) are only 2 mmHg.  [The discrepancy, encountered already in the past, may be due to (1) faulty instrument readings in the RS; and (2) obstructed air flow between the modules.  Before the crew is asked to inspect the air ducts, they were cleared by Moscow to use the U.S. CDMK (carbon dioxide monitoring kit) for taking measurements in the SM, to help determine whether Vozdukh should be reset to lower Lab CO2 level.]

ISS attitude continues to be LVLH -YVV/”barbecue”.  Thermal conditions remain well inside limits.  [Transition to -YVV resulted in far greater temperature drop (~30 degC) than expected (5 deg), which suggests that it may be prudent to take a closer look at the math model used for the structural/thermal predictions.]

The failed SM battery #8 will be replaced with the remaining 800A spare from the FGB on 5/28 (Wednesday). 

On the same day, TsUP will conduct a fully automated test of the SM’s Kurs rendezvous/docking radar system, preparatory for the upcoming Progress 11P docking on 6/10.  This allows fueling of the launch vehicle 10-12 days before the launch, as is standard for Progress launches.

Also on 5/28, Ed Lu and Yuri Malenchenko are scheduled to perform the two-person EMU donning/doffing test, requiring several hours.  Timeliners have made sure that crew time is not “double booked” between this task and the SM battery R&R.

Discussions are continuing between NASA and RSC-Energia of the ISS altitude strategy to be adopted for the period prior to the Shuttle’s return to flight.  Pending final management approval, the old plan of conducting the next reboost in mid-June, mainly to support optimum ULF-1 and 12A mission-compatible docking altitudes of 380 and 370 km, resp., has been changed, and the mid-June maneuver is no longer required.   [Since neither Progress 11P nor 12P will require orbit phasing burns, the next ISS reboosts would be conducted in early September and October, to provide correct phasing for Soyuz 7S launch and 6S return to Northern Kazakhstan.  These burns would result in 360 km altitude for the ISS by April 2004, more than adequate for ULF-1 (management agreement on this lower altitude is still required by both sides).  It is currently estimated that these new phasing burns will require a total of 4 m/sec delta-V, as opposed to the original June/October reboosts of 7.5 m/sec, which would have resulted in 380 km by January 2004 for ULF-1.  Should the Shuttle return-to-flight occur earlier than assumed here (probably not known before late-July/August earliest), the ISS may have to be deboosted to a lower orbit, depending on Shuttle performance.]

Today’s CEO (crew earth observations) targets, now no longer restricted by the Lab science window ruled off-limit due to flight attitude, were Sao Paulo, Brazil (a touch right; Rio was off left of track), Chao Lava, Chile (this major lava flow, famous in geological literature, appears as a black wrinkled mass in the desert of the high Andes), Congo-Zimbabwe Biomass Burning (burning has already begun in the savanna forest immediately south of the Congo rainforest, although the dry season has only just started.  Heavy rains in recent years have caused an unusual buildup of biomass in these savannas.  Looking left and right of track. [Dark green Okavango delta swampland in the otherwise waterless Kalahari Desert, was right of track.]), Brasilia, Brazil (a touch left), Detroit, Michigan (night target; nadir pass), Osaka, Japan (night target; nadir pass.  Other city lights [Tokyo] will have appeared, especially right of track), Bombay, India (looking a touch right for this major port city), Istanbul, Turkey (night target; nadir pass), Casablanca, Morocco (night target; nadir pass), and Xianggang (Hong Kong), China (the ISS pass was sufficiently north of Hong Kong for the crew to see the whole urbanizing region of Hong Kong-Shenzhen, one of the fastest growing metro areas in China).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites and

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 1:40pm 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 Purify mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is On; SKV-2 is Off.
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 27.4; ppO2 (mmHg) — data invalid; ppCO2 (mmHg) — data invalid.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 751; temperature (deg C) — 22.3.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 748; temperature (deg C) — 21.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744.52; temperature (deg C) — 23.4 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 746.33; temperature (deg C) — 22.5; ppO2 (mmHg) — 172.7; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 4.8.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):  Pressure (mmHg) — 746.43; temperature (deg C) — 28.2; shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.8, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 21.8.
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 13.5.

(n/a = data not available)

Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 3573 kg (7877 lb) as of 5/22 [SM(774) + FGB(2547) + 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 #8 is failed; batteries #1 and #4 are in ROM (capacity restoration mode); all other batteries (5) 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:  72.0 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.

SpaceRef staff editor.