Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 December 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
December 13, 2005
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 December 2005

SpaceRef note: This NASA Headquarters internal status report, as presented here, contains additional, original material produced by (copyright © 2005) to enhance access to related status reports and NASA activities.

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

Before breakfast and exercise, the crew completed their third session with the periodic Russian MedOps MO-10 test “Hematocrit”, which measures the red cell count of the blood, as first part of today’s PHS (Periodic Health Status) assessment with blood labs.  [The blood samples were drawn from a finger with a perforator lancet, 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. After the exam, the data were saved in the IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), and McArthur later stowed the MO-10 equipment kit.]

FE Tokarev also took his second MBI-1 SPRUT-K test, part of Russian medical research on the distribution and behavior of human body fluids in zero gravity. McArthur s assistance was not required.  [Supported by payload laptop 3 (LT3) in the Service Module (SM), the test used the Profilaktika kit #8, delivered on Soyuz-217/11S, with data recorded on PCMCIA memory cards, along with Valery s body mass values determined yesterday and the Hematocrit value from the MO-10 test earlier this morning, but skipping fat fold measurements. Experiment requisites are the Sprut (“squid”) securing harness, skin electrodes (cuffs), and LT3 for control and data storage. The Pinguin suit or Braslet-M cuffs, if worn, have to be taken off first. Electrode measurements are recorded at complete rest and relaxed body position. The actual recording takes 3-5 minutes, during which the patient has to remain at complete rest.]

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Valery also performed Part 2 of his second onboard Profilaktika (MBI-8, Countermeasures ) preventive health maintenance fitness test series, today using the resistive NS-1 load trainer, keeping a log and supported by tag-up with medical support personnel at TsUP/Moscow. Part 3, on the TVIS treadmill, will conclude the assessment tomorrow.  [Today s Russian fitness test consists of four types of exercise, viz., neck stretching (back/forward), simultaneous upper arm flexing, trunk extension, and trunk flexes. Each type of exercise requires a series of 15 motions repeated two times. Load levels are selected by the ground and do not change from test to test. Total duration of the test is ~13 min. Gas analysis using the TEEM-100M gas analyzer and subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels were also performed as a part of this test. The lactate blood test was done twice at the end of the session, using the ACCUSPORT analyzer and REFLOTRON-4 accessories. Results were entered on a log sheet. TEEM and ECG (electrocardiograph) data were transferred to the Laptop 3, also on a tape cassette (Cardiocassette-2000), and prepared for later downlink via Regul-Packet comm. Results were also called down to specialists standing by at TsUP/Moscow.]

In the Lab module, Bill Arthur reconfigured a Utility Outlet Panel (UOP-2) with a junction box (PS-120) to accommodate the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) radiation monitor preparatory to its relocation from the Service Module (SM).

In support of subsequent onboard proficiency training on the Robotics MSS (Mobile Service System), McArthur hooked up the UOP-to-DCP (Display & Control Panel) bypass power cable at the Lab RWS (Robotics Work Station).

Afterwards, the CDR spent ~1.5 hours on proficiency/training with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System), during which he conducted data gathering, leaving the robotarm parked in a configuration to do FMS (Force & Moment Sensor) saturization testing later this month.   [Today s task was to maneuver the SSRMS to MBS PDGF-3 (Mobile Base System Power & Data Grapple Fixture 3) pre-grapple position, followed by grapple and mate, using (1) a Single-Joint sequence from the port EVA viewing position, (2) a Joint OCAS (operator commanded auto sequence), (3) a Single-Joint sequence to the PDGF pre-grapple position, and (4) a manual maneuver to the grapple fixture capture envelope.]

The ongoing SSRMS Ground Control commissioning is nearing its completion. Ground testing was completed during Expeditions 7, 10 and 11. Final readiness review is taking place today. After the review, specialists will submit their planning constraints for execution of SSRMS Ground Control.  [An SSRMS Ground Control operation is defined as any operation not controlled/monitored by the onboard crew that results in either or both of the following: (1) motion of any joint; (2) LEE mechanism actuation for grapple/release of a grapple fixture. Non-motion ops are governed by already existing hazard controls for activities that do not require crew participation.]

McArthur took IMV (intermodule ventilation) air flow measurements near the US Lab aft port IMV diffuser, from a number of locations specified in an uplinked procedure.

The crew had several hours reserved to work on transferring excessed equipment to Progress 19 for disposal, with commensurate updates of the IMS (Inventory Management System) database.  [The activity is supported by an uplinked Russian trash designation log currently listing 194 Russian & US items.]

McArthur performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU), and later 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).

The CDR also completed his regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer, TVIS treadmill and RED resistive exerciser, with Valery Tokarev s exercise accounted for by his MBI-8 Profilaktika run on the VELO bike this morning.

Afterwards, Bill 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).

Yesterday, following the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer) repair and the CHeCS AAA (Crew Health Care Systems Avionics Air Assembly) R&R last week, the CDR successfully activated the VOA. After activation, it passed the system test and performed warm-up for 70 minutes, after which it nominally went into stand-by mode. Today, ground teams are conducting calibration runs on the analyzer, which also serve as a means of “cleaning” the VOA. 

Ground engineers are currently conducting a five-day checkout of the portside TRRJ (Thermal Radiator Rotary Joint), for Loop B of the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System). Purposes of this test series are to characterize the autotrack function, check out blind mode operations, and characterize certain FDIR (Fault Detection, Isolation, and Recovery) responses.  [The ground-commanded checkout started yesterday. TRRJ functionality is required at Mission 12A.1 for ETCS (External Thermal Control System) activation. This TRRJ checkout, the third, will be only be conducted for Port (Loop B) due to the loss of one of the Starboard (Loop A) RJMCs (Rotary Joint Motor Controllers). No ammonia (NH3) is currently flowing through the radiators, so any anomalies encountered will not affect nominal TCS ops.]

During the attitude change maneuver on 12/10 from XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) to LVLH XVV (local vertical local horizontal/x-axis in velocity vector), special photogrammetry images were of the ESP-2 (External Stowage Platform 2) from two external cameras for analysis.  [ESP-2, installed by Robinson and Noguchi at the US Airlock last August, exhibited some dynamic movement during the recent US EVA 4 spacewalk. To fully characterize this motion and its impact to ISS loads analysis for vehicle and maneuver activity, engineers required imagery from two cameras for subsequent 4D analysis (time + 3 axes).]

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Somali coastal vegetation (this arid coastal site is affected by high rainfall during El Nino events. Images looking north and south of track are requested as a baseline of coastal vegetation distribution before the changes expected when the next El Niño rainfall occurs), Internal waves, N Patagonian Shelf (trying for internal waves imaged near the glint point.  These shelf-related features can occur far from the coast since the shelf of South America diverges well east of Patagonia, encompassing the Falkland Islands more than 300 miles offshore), and Internal waves, S Patagonian Shelf (trying for internal waves imaged near the glint point.  Falkland Islands at nadir in this E-W elongated site).

To date, over 177,000 of CEO images have been taken in the first five years of the ISS.

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 12 crew visit:

Expedition 12 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

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ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 6:40am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 350.2 km
  • Apogee height — 357.0 km
  • Perigee height — 343.3 km
  • Period — 91.54 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.001017
  • Solar Beta Angle — -2.5deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 120 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40390

Upcoming Events (all dates Eastern):

  • 12/21/05 — Progress M-55/20P launch (1:38pm EST)
  • 12/23/05 — Progress M-55/20P docking (2:55pm EST, at DC1)
  • 01/09/06 — 100 days for Expedition 12
  • 02/02/06 — Russian EVA-15
  • 03/03/06? — Progress M-54/19P undocking & reentry (baseline date under review)
  • 03/22/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S launch (Exp. 13 + Marcus Pontes/Brazil)
  • 03/24/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S docking (DC1)
  • 04/01/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S undocking & return (Exp. 12 + Marcus Pontes)
  • 04/06/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S relocation (DC1 to FGB nadir port)
  • 04/09/06 — Progress M-55/20P undocking & reentry
  • 04/10/06 — Progress M-56/21P launch
  • 04/12/06 — Progress M-56/21P docking.

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.