Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 April 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
April 12, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 April 2006

SpaceRef note: This NASA Headquarters internal status report, as presented here, contains additional, original material produced by (copyright © 2006) to enhance access to related status reports and NASA activities.

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.   Today Russia observes Denj Kosmonavtov (Cosmonauts Day) — celebrating Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering flight into space 45 years ago.  And NASA is observing the 25th anniversary of STS-1, the first Space Shuttle mission to orbit.   [Yuri Alexeyevich was accepted into the cosmonaut unit in 1960, at age 26.  After his historic 108-min. flight around the Earth in “Vostok 1”, which ended with a parachute ejection at 7 km altitude over a farm field near the city of Engels in Saratov Oblast (province), he was promoted to unit leader. Seven years later, in 1968 (March 27), Yuri died with a flight instructor in a still not completely explained fighter jet crash.  Chief Designer of the thusly inaugurated Soviet human space program was Sergey Pavlovich Korolev.  Exactly 20 years later, John Young and Bob Crippen took the Columbia into space for a test mission lasting 2 days 6 hours 20 minutes 52 seconds.] 

Following station inspection and morning hygiene, before breakfast and first exercise, CDR Vinogradov and FE/SO Williams performed their first session of the periodic Russian biomedical assessments PZEh-MO-7 (calf volume measurement) and PZEh-MO-8 (body mass measurement), using the newly installed mass measurement device (IM), later breaking it down for stowage.   [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG 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.  For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM “scales” measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants.  By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.]

Later in the day, the CDR unstowed and installed the equipment for the periodic Russian MO-10 “Hematokrit” testing, scheduled tomorrow for both crewmembers.   [MO-10 measures the hematocrit (red blood cell mass) value of the blood (it is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell mass {normal range: 30-45%} tends to go down over time).]


Processing Status
Daily Mission
Return to Flight
Weekly Status
Weekly Science
Daily On-Orbit Status
Daily Crew Timeline
Soyuz | Progress
ISS News | ATV

Vinogradov also worked briefly on a medical questionnaire for the standard Russian biomedical Braslet-M/Anketa (“bracelet/questionnaire”) test procedure.  If required by him, this would allow Pavel to evaluate a number of “bracelet” cuffs for their usefulness in suppressing the adverse effects of micro-G for the “newcomer” aboard the station during the acute phase of adaptation to weightlessness, recorded on the questionnaire.   [The “bracelets” are compression cuffs attached to a belt and worn on the upper thighs over the coveralls, intended as countermeasures against the initial micro-G effects of blood filling (vascularity) in the upper torso (heaviness and blood pulsation in the head), facial puffiness, nasal stuffiness, painful eye movement, and vestibular disorders (dizziness, nausea, vomiting).  They create artificial blood accumulation in the upper thirds of the thighs, causing some of the circulating blood volume to relocate from the upper body to the lower extremities, thereby (hopefully) correcting the adverse hemodynamic effect of micro-G and thus improving the crewmember’s working capability.  The actual compression cuff in the Braslet units is a combination of alternating multi-layer tensile and non-tensile elements, whose distension by body movements creates elastic forces that produce the necessary pressure on the body surface.]

Williams connected power to the EXPRESS Rack 4 (ER4) laptop to finish up a power channel swap performed yesterday remotely by POC (Payload Operations Center/Huntsville).

Today, POC also activated ER1 and MAMS (Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System) in preparation for tomorrow’s Service Module (SM) thruster testing.  The ER1 MTL (moderate temperature loop) was connected by FE Williams to the UIP (Utility Interface Panel) in the Lab.   [MAMS and SDMS (Structural Dynamic Measurement System) sensors will collect on-orbit data during the thruster test.  These data will be used to validate integrated truss dynamic responses due to the thruster firing, in support of the “ISS Life Validation and Extension” SDTO (Station Development Test Objective).  MAMS must be up and running two hours and SDMS (which stores only about 10 minutes of data) two minutes before the event to ensure data collection.]

CDR Vinogradov worked on the communications system, performing four comm checks, two each on the S/G-1 (Space-to-Ground 1) and S/G-2 channel, to verify the ability to tie two Houston interpreter voice loops (DVIS) to S/G-1 and -2.

Continuing the current new round of the monthly preventive maintenance of Russian segment (RS) ventilation systems, Pavel removed and replaced two dust filters (PS1 & PS2) in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok).

The FE completed the regular monthly maintenance of the TVIS treadmill, mainly consisting of an inspection of the Russian and US tie-down harnesses (straps & buckles) and associated SBS (Series Bungee System) for any damage.

Jeff also worked on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), configuring its HRM (Hearth Rate Monitor) software for the new Expedition 13 crew. [E13-specific settings include birthday and height of each crewmember.]

The FE also ran another periodic atmospheric status check for ppO2 (Partial Pressure Oxygen) and ppCO2 (pp Carbon Dioxide), using the CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products), CSA-O2 (CSA-Oxygen Sensor) and CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit).   [The use of the CSA-CP (-304) was approved by the IMMT (ISS Mission Management Team) to monitor O2 at ambient pressure as comparison to the CSA-O2 on a weekly basis, in consonance with applicable Flight Rule.]

The CDR performed the routine daily maintenance of the SOZh environment control & life support system in the Service Module (SM), including ASU toilet systems, while Williams updated/edited the standard IMS (Inventory Management System) “delta file”, including locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).   [Because the new OpsLAN (Operations Local Areas Network) update/reload hasn’t been done yet, the crew is still using IMS software vers. 1.45, although their training focused mainly on the new application, IMS 2.01.]

Both crewmembers worked out in their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the TVIS treadmill (FE, CDR), RED (CDR) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE).   [Pavel Vinogradov’s daily protocol prescribes a strict four-day microcycle exercise with 1.5 hr on the treadmill in unmotorized mode and one hour on VELO plus load trainer (today: Day 3 of the first set).]

Afterwards, Williams transferred the exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, as well as the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

Working off his voluntary Russian task list, Pavel performed cargo transfers from Progress 355/20P, with commensurate IMS updating.

As all new station crews, CDR Vinogradov and FE Williams had one hour each set aside on today’s schedule for ISS familiarization and adaptation, to help in adjusting to their new surroundings and activities.   [This unstructured and discretionary session has become a valuable standard requirement for new station occupants for the first two weeks.]

In addition, the crewmembers got two hours off duty, as compensation for work performed by them on 4/10 (Monday), their second rest day.

At ~3:25am EDT, Vinogradov and Williams held an interactive PAO/TV conference with RSC-Energia, GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center) and IBMP (Institute for Biomedical Problems) management in Moscow on the occasion of Cosmonautics Day today, via Ku- and S-band).

At 5:00am, also in observance of Cosmonautics Day, the crewmembers participated in a TV conference with Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, via Ku- and S-band).

At ~7:15am, the crew enjoyed a Ku-and S-band conference with their ground support group from MAI (Moscow Aviation Institute) who have formed the “Musical Aviation Institute” group.

At ~2:55pm, the crew is scheduled for their weekly 15-min. teleconference with ISS Program Management at JSC/Houston via S-band/audio.

The first part of semi-annual reconditioning activities on the P6 EPS (Electrical Power System) batteries concluded at ~6:00am EDT with discharge of battery set 2B2 BCDU (Battery Charge/Discharge Unit) completed.  After a 24-hr. hold, the battery recharge will begin.  The reconditioning of all six battery sets is tentatively scheduled to run through early June.   [Nickel hydrogen (NiH) batteries can develop and display memory loss resulting in a temporary loss of capacity that can be periodically erased by fully discharging and charging cells (reconditioning).  The battery state of charge (SOC) reported in telemetry does not include the effect of this reduced capacity.  These tests are necessary to improve battery health and to determine the amount of amp hour capacity retained since the reconditioning was performed.]

At ~7:55am, on Daily Orbit 10, TsUP-Moscow swapped two power-sharing USOS-to-RS (US to Russian segment) SNT voltage & current stabilizer units (transformers), switching from SNT-21 to -24.

This morning (10:30am-12:00pm) MCC-Houston swapped GNC MDMs (Guidance, Navigation & Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexers, computers) in preparation for powering down the DDCU (DC-to-DC Converter Unit) LA1B prior to the removal & replacement of the failed RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module) LA1B_H.  [The crew was advised that S-band antenna pointing could be temporarily impeded in the unlikely event of a failure of the primary GNC MDM during the switchover period and the automatic takeover by the RS MCS (Russian Segment Motion Control System).]

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Puerto Rico (ISS had a near-nadir pass for this target area with fair weather and lighting.  The Luquillo Forest of Puerto Rico has been designated as an LTER (Long Term Ecological Research) Site.  Researchers are seeking detailed views to supplement data from other sensor systems being used to monitor this area.  As the station approached from the NW, the crew was to use the long lens for a mapping sweep of the southern slopes of this forested and mountainous island), and Internal waves, South Patagonian Shelf (under the right conditions of sun glint on the sea surface, internal waves become visible and offer insight into the bathymetry and other submerged features.  After crossing the coast the crew was to begin looking for glint enhancements aft and left of track [NW], especially to the south of the bulbous Valdes Peninsula, trying to keep a small portion of the coast in the view as a reference point).

To date, more than 186,000 of CEO images have been taken in the first five years of the ISS, almost one third of the total number of images taken from orbit by astronauts.  Increment 12 alone produced 12,962 pictures.

CEO photography can be viewed and studied at the websites:

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at:

To view the latest photos taken by the expedition 13 crew visit:

Expedition 13 Flight Crew Plans can be found at

Previous NASA ISS On-orbit Status Reports can be found here. Previous NASA Space Station Status Reports can be found here. Previous NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Reports can be found here. A collection of all of these reports and other materials relating to Return to Flight for the Space Shuttle fleet can be found here.

ISS Location NOW

Full Size/Update

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 7:28am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 343.8 km
  • Apogee height — 350.0 km
  • Perigee height — 337.6 km
  • Period — 91.41 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0009191
  • Solar Beta Angle — 31.3 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 119 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 42280

Significant Events Ahead (all dates subject to change):

  • 04/13/06 — SM attitude control thruster testing
  • 04/19/06 — SM main engine test/ISS reboost
  • 04/24/06 — Progress M-56/21P launch
  • 04/26/06 — Progress M-56/21P docking (SM aft port)
  • 05/20/06 — Progress M-56/21P loading complete; hatches closed
  • 06/14-16/06 — Russian EVA-16
  • 06/17/06 — Progress M-55/20P undocking (DC1) & reentry
  • 06/18/06 — Progress M-57/22P launch
  • 06/20/06 — Progress M-57/22P docking (DC1)
  • 07/01/06 — NET STS-121/ULF1.1 launch
  • 07/??/06 — US EVA-5
  • 08/28/07 — NET STS-115/12A launch
  • 09/13/06 — Progress M-56/21P undocking (SM aft port) & reentry
  • 09/14/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S launch (Expedition 14 + VC11)
  • 09/16/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S docking (SM aft port)
  • 09/24/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S undocking (FGB nadir port) & reentry
  • 10/08/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S relocation (SM aft port to FGB nadir port)
  • 10/18/06 — Progress M-58/23P launch
  • 10/20/06 — Progress M-58/23P docking (SM aft port)
  • 11/16/06 — NET STS-116/12A.1 launch
  • 12/19/06 — Progress M-57/22P undocking (DC1) & reentry
  • 12/20/06 — Progress M-59/24P launch
  • 12/22/06 — Progress M-59/24P docking (DC1)
  • 02/06/07 — Progress M-59/24P undocking (DC1) & reentry
  • 02/07/07 — Progress M-60/25P launch
  • 02/09/07 — Progress M-60/25P docking (DC1)
  • ??/??/07 — Progress M-58/23P undocking (SM aft port) & reentry
  • 03/09/07 — Soyuz TMA-10/14S launch (Expedition 15 + VC12)
  • 03/11/07 — Soyuz TMA-10/14S docking (SM aft port)
  • 03/19/07 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S undocking (FGB nadir port)
  • 03/22/07 — NET STS-117/13A launch
  • ??/??/07 — Soyuz TMA-10/14S relocation (SM aft port to FGB nadir port)
  • 06/14/07 — NET STS-118/13A.1.

(NET = no earlier than)

ISS Altitude History

Apogee height Mean AltitudePerigee height

ISS Altitude History

For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see In addition, information on International Space Station sighting opportunities can be found at on NASA’s Human Spaceflight website. The current location of the International Space Station can be found at at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Additional satellite tracking resources can be found at

SpaceRef staff editor.