Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 October 2005

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

CDR/SO Bill McArthur and FE Valery Tokarev 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 “free” session has become a valuable standard requirement for new station occupants for the first two weeks.]

Tokarev completed the standard Russian biomedical Braslet-M/Anketa (“bracelet/questionnaire”) test procedure by filling out a form evaluating a number of “bracelet” cuffs for their usefulness in suppressing the adverse effects of zero-G for the “newcomer” aboard the station during the acute phase of adaptation to weightlessness.   [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.]

The crew worked a major IFM (in-flight maintenance) in the Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok (FGB), removing the failed #2 storage battery and replacing it with a spare Blok 800A.   [The ZRU charge/discharge unit #2 was deactivated by TsUP/MCC-Moscow beforehand and later reactivated.  Battery #2 is currently being conditioned in Cycle mode.  This restores the full set of six FGB batteries to operation.]

McArthur performed the periodic checkout of the crew’s Respiratory Support Pack #1002 (RSP).   [The RSP is designed to “breathe” for an incapacitated crewmember in the event of a respiratory health event on board ISS.]

Working on the HRF (Human Research Facility) rack, Bill also conducted the periodic checkout of the MedOps cardiac defibrillator. (Last time done: 8/10).    [This periodic routine task is scheduled as soon as possible from Expedition start and every 60 days thereafter.  For the checkout, the defib is connected to the 120V outlet, equipped with its battery (currently #1012) and then allowed to charge, for about five seconds, to a preset energy level (e.g., 100 joules).  After the button-triggered discharge, a console indicator signals success or failure of the test.  The pacing signal is downlinked via S-band for 2 min.  The HRF is powered down afterwards.]

Tokarev performed the periodic maintenance work of changing out major components of the Service Module toilet system (SM ASU), and then checked out the ASU.   [Replaced with new units were the U-receptacle (MP) and filter insert (F-V), plus associated hoses and a sensor.  The old items were logged in the IMS (Inventory Management System) database and stowed for disposal.  (Last time done: 6/13).]

In preparation for the R&R (removal & replacement) of two Node RPCMs (Remote Power Controller Modules), scheduled for tomorrow, the CDR cleared access to the work area in the Node by removing obstructing stowage equipment.

The FE collected the weekly air data with the new GANK-4M (Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer) system of the SM pressure control & atmospheric monitoring system (SOGS).

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The CDR performed the scheduled lens change on the EarthKAM system at the Lab science window, going from 50mm to the 180mm-lens configuration. The lens change had to be performed while EarthKAM was not taking pictures.   [EarthKAM was activated on 10/11.  The payload runs without crew intervention through Saturday.  EK is using a Kodak ESC 460C electronic still camera with 50mm (f/1.4) lens, now powered by 16Vdc from a 28 Vdc adapter, taking pictures by remote operation from the ground, without crew interaction.  It is available for students who submit image requests and conduct geographic research.  The requests are uplinked in a camera control file to the IBM 760XD SSC laptop which then activates the camera at specified times and receives the digital images from the camera’s storage card on its hard drive, for subsequent downlink via OpsLAN.]

McArthur performed the daily routine maintenance of the SOZh environmental control system and prepared the IMS (inventory management system) “delta” files for updating the IMS databases.

On the U.S. exercise hardware, Bill and Valery conducted the weekly TVIS routine maintenance, primarily inspecting the condition of the SLDs (subject loading devices), SLD cables and SPDs (subject positioning devices), plus recording time & date values.   [While one crewmember pulls out the cables about 10 inches (approximately 80 lbs of load), the other does the inspection.  Temperature readings of motor box and electronics box are recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downloaded to the MEC for subsequent downlink to the ground.]

The CDR also performed the periodic (once per month) routine inspection of the RED (resistive exercise device) with canister cords and accessory straps as well as the canister bolts for re-tightening if required. 

The crew completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill, RED resistive machine and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer.   [As with Sergei before him, Valery’s daily protocol prescribes a strict four-day microcycle exercise with 1.5 hr on the treadmill and one hour on VELO plus load trainer (today: Day 3 of the first set).]

Later, Bill transferred the TVIS and RED exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, as well as the daily wristband HRM (heart rate monitor) data of his CEVIS and RED workouts, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).   [For the E12 entries, special procedures are used to establish their accounts.  Their data transfers will become regular after the installation of new, personalized software on the MEC on 10/14, during which MEC will be upgraded from the IBM 760XD to an A31p ThinkPad.]

McArthur conducted the weekly inventory audit of the available CWCs and their contents, to keep track of onboard water supplies.   [Updated “cue cards” based on Bill’s water calldowns, are sent up every other week.]

On 10/11, the TVIS treadmill belt did not start up when the machine was turned on.  After some troubleshooting and two power-downs, the system came back up nominally, and the motorbox appeared to be moving the belt OK.  The treadmill continues to function well.  [For the CDR, it remained unclear if the fix was due to the power-down or if the original problem was caused by the crew potentially performing some of the TVIS start-up steps out of order.] 

RSC-Energia and a special Russian Commission are investigating a slight pressure drop of the Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft’s atmosphere at the time of undocking on 10/10, reported by the crew via radio.  Since no telemetry could be received during the usual time of plasma blackout, data stored in the Soyuz DM (Descent Module)’s recorder are being awaited.

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 Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (the Toshka Lakes are a man-made hydrologic feature formed by overfilling of Lake Nasser to the East.  Images of the lakes allow for monitoring of hydrologic and ecologic changes over time. Looking to the right of track for the lakes), Sao Paulo, Brazil (weather was predicted to be clear over this South American megacity.  Overlapping along-track nadir frames from the urban-rural fringe and through the urban center are most useful for mosaicing and land cover classification.  Monitoring of urban land cover change provides important data on local and regional alterations to ecosystems, hydrology, and climate), Pinacates Biosphere Site, N Mexico (the Pinacates Biosphere site preserves the diverse Sonoran Desert ecosystem for scientific study.  The region is also geologically diverse and includes a fairly recent volcanic field.  Looking to the left of track for dark volcanic cones, lava flows, and craters surrounding by lighter brown desert soils), and Patagonian Glaciers (mountain glaciers in the Patagonia ranges are being monitored to track advances and retreats related to climate change.  Looking to the left of track as ISS passed over the mountains for high-altitude glaciers among the peaks.  General context images of the mountains are also useful to familiarize the crew with the region).

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, 6:53am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 347.2 km
  • Apogee height — 348.4 km
  • Perigee height — 345.9 km
  • Period — 91.48 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.000186
  • Solar Beta Angle — -3.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 164 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 39429

Upcoming Events (all times EDT):

  • 10/18/05 — ISS Reboost (two burns, 11m 40s each, to set up phasing for Progress 20P launch & circularize;)
  • 10/27/05 – EVA-04 Dry Run
  • 11/07/05 — EVA-4 (U.S.)
  • 11/18/05 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S relocation (from DC-1 to FGB nadir port)
  • 12/20/05 – Progress M-54/19P undocking & reentry
  • 12/21/05 – Progress M-55/20P launch
  • 12/23/05 — Progress M-55/20P docking
  • 01/09/06 — 100 days for Expedition 12.


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.