Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 August 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
August 14, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 August 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. Underway: Week 19 of Increment 13.

After wakeup, CDR Vinogradov continued his support of the Russian/German TEKh-20 Plasma Crystal-3 Plus (PK-3+) science payload by again activating the PK-3+/N turbopump in the Service Module Transfer Compartment (SM PkhO), to maintain the vacuum inside the ZB work chamber. After the automated baseline session, Pavel deactivated the experiment and performed closeout operations and copied the accumulated data from the hard drive to the USB stick for subsequent downlink. The turbopump will be deactivated tonight at ~5:25pm EDT before crew sleep. [The experiment is performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber. Main objective is to study dust plasma crystallization processes at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles with subsequent reduction of HF discharge power, then to observe melting of the structures formed earlier. The current fourth baseline experiment was conducted with particle size of 14.9 microns in diameter at different pressures and HF generator power outputs to provide preliminary study data of wave propagation.]

Vinogradov, FE-1 Jeffrey Williams and FE-2 Thomas Reiter performed the periodic Russian biomedical assessments PZEh-MO-7 (calf volume measurement) and PZEh-MO-8 (body mass measurement), using the IM mass measurement device, 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.]

Processing Status
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Weekly Status
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Daily On-Orbit Status
Daily Crew Timeline
Soyuz | Progress
ISS News | ATV

With Pavel Vinogradov assisting his Flight Engineer, Jeff then underwent his fourth general US MedOps PFE (periodic fitness evaluation), a monthly 1.5-hr. procedure to check up on blood pressure and electrocardiogram (ECG) during programmed exercise on the CEVIS (cycle ergometer with vibration isolation) in the Lab. Readings were taken with the BP/ECG (blood pressure/electrocardiograph) and the HRM (heart rate monitor) watch with its radio transmitter. [BP/ECG provides automated noninvasive systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements while also monitoring and displaying accurate heart rates on a continual basis at rest and during exercise.]

FE-2 Thomas Reiter also completed another PFE session, his second, using the new OUM (Oxygen Uptake Measurement) equipment to obtain measurements according to protocol, with Jeff Williams acting as OUM-PFE operator. [Later in the day, the evaluation protocol was updated, the gear deactivated and stored and the OUM-PFE laptop powered down.]

In place of the aborted ALTEA suite of experiments, Jeff Williams started preparations for the new DAFT (Dust & Aerosol Measurement Feasibility Test) experiment by reviewing DAFT training material for familiarization. [DAFT will test the effectiveness of an ultra-fine particle counter device called P-Trak, a commercial hand-held air quality monitor that counts ultra-fine dust particles, in a low gravity environment. A risk mitigation activity as a precursor to the next generation of spacecraft fire detection hardware, DAFT will provide the first systematic measurements of the sizes of particles in the ISS cabin air over time and prove the usefulness of the P-Trak counter. For the current testing session Jeff will create a “known” aerosol in a valved Mylar bag from gaseous nitrogen (GN2) and Arizona Road Dust (ARD).]

Pavel Vinogradov used the newly installed Matryoshka-R Bubble Dosimeter panel’s computer to acquire radiation readings of the four detectors retrieved from their exposure locations (where they were positioned on 8/9). [The dosimeter panel is attached with Velcro at its SM work site (near the RBS 10/3 power outlet) and equipped with a fresh MMC memory card. Of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors supplied, only four are used in the first sessions. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Besides the Phantom Sphere containers in the SM, the human torso in the DC1 is equipped with individual horizontal slice-like layers with 356 thermoluminescent detectors (TLDs) and five nuclear radiation tracking detectors (NTDPs). The mannequin is covered with a “poncho” and “hood” and used for studies of on-orbit radiation and long-term dose accumulation. The payload collects radiation measurements every 15 minutes of each hour around the clock. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

FE-2 Thomas Reiter completed Part 2 of installing the new ESA payload EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System). [EMCS, delivered on ULF1.1, is a combination centrifuge/growth chamber that allows plant growth experiments to be carried out in controlled partial and microgravity conditions.]

For more outfitting on the Russian SKV2 air conditioner, started on 7/19, the CDR had ~40 minutes set aside to search for, gather and prepare hardware for the upcoming installation of vibration isolators on the SKV2’s VR and VTK2 fans in the SM.

FE-1 Williams disconnected the CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly)’s ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) supply line (to prevent condensation) after CDRA was deactivated by ground command in support of a scheduled efficiency test of the Russian Vozdukh CO2 scrubber. [CDRA will be restarted for more METOX regeneration activity later this week (8/16).]

FE-2 Reiter was scheduled to perform more skill training for photographing the Orbiter RPM (R-Bar Pitch Maneuver) at STS-115/12A arrival. Afterwards, Thomas again was to downlink his OBT photos to the ground for evaluation. [During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the ISS crew will have ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. The crew will be wearing headsets on extension cables for communicating during the maneuver.]

Williams conducted the periodic noise level measurements program in the station interior, using the U.S. sound level meter (SLM) for a ~2-hr. acoustic survey. The recorded data were later transferred to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [Acoustic measurements were obtained at 13 locations in the Lab and 11 locations in the SM. The survey also included five crew preference locations taken at their perceived loudest locations in the station. The SLM gives instantaneous noise levels and their frequency spectra, which are transferred to the MEC laptop via an RS232 cable and later downlinked with regular CHeCS (crew health care systems) data dump or via OCA.]

CDR Vinogradov completed his seventh session of the regular monthly Eye Tracking Device (ETD) experiment, which studies the coordination of eye and head movements in zero-G, i.e. the adaptation of the human vestibular (balance) system, and takes place in the Docking Compartment (DC1)’s center sphere. The next ETD run, by Thomas Reiter, is scheduled for 8/21. [After a calibration with the calibrating unit, the experiment investigates horizontal eye and head movement coordination, measures Listing’s plane, and determines the orientation of the vestibulo-ocular coordinate system, using five target marks on the EV-2 hatch on the horizontal plane. For the experiment, Pavel first had to check the setup of the left and right video cameras, then established his most comfortable and stable body position relative to the visual target (60 cm for the first part of the experiment, 100 to 150 cm in parts two & three). Each step required another prior calibration run, using visual target cues or the calibration unit.]

Jeff Williams set up and activated the EarthKAM (EK) hardware for a new session (the 23rd time aboard the ISS and the second time on Increment 13). EK will operate all week and will be shut down this weekend. [EK is using a DCS 760 electronic still camera with 50mm (f/1.4) lens, powered by 16Vdc from a 28 Vdc adapter, taking pictures by remote operation from the ground, without crew interaction. The student requests are uplinked in a camera control file to an A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) 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 OPS LAN.]

In the Lab, Jeff repositioned the IVCPDS ((Intravehicular Charged Particle Directional Spectrometer) instrument, by rotating it to turn its field of view from forward-pointing to zenith-pointing. [IVCPDS is deployed on a rack boom at Lab position 1S4.]

In the Russian segment (RS), the FE-1 completed the routine daily maintenance of the SOZh environment control & life support system in the SM, including the ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables and the weekly inspection of the BRPK air/liquid condensate separator apparatus.

The CDR 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).

Vinogradov also performed maintenance on the Russian IK0501 gas analyzer (GA) of the SM SOGS (Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring System), removing its EP1003 power converter and replacing it with a new unit (#16). The old EP1003 #15 was discarded. [IK0501 is an automated system for measuring CO2, O2, and H2O in the air as well as the flow rate of the gas being analyzed.]

The three crewmembers completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-1, for PFE ), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-2), RED resistive exerciser (FE-1), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR). Part of Reiter’s exercise was performed for his OUM-PFE session [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 1 of the first set).]

Afterwards, Williams transfers his, Pavel’s and Thomas’ exercise data files to the MEC for downlink, as well as the daily wristband HRM data of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

As part of his daily evening work preps for the next day, Pavel Vinogradov is currently required to synchronize time between the Russian payload server (BSPN) and the ISS “Wiener” power laptop in support of the ongoing runs of the ESA/German commercial experiment “RokvISS”. [First, the Wiener is updated with the exact time as per the station clock (which in turn is synchronized daily from RGS/Russian Ground Site), using a payload file transfer program called ShellForKE. RokvISS investigates the feasibility of robotic function and remote control in open space environment. Its REU (Robotic External Unit) arm, installed on the URM-D, is controlled by the CUP (Communication Unit for Payloads) via the OBC electronics, part of SM systems. RokvISS communicates directly with the GOSC (German Space Operations Center) ground station at Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany via independent S-band comm link.]

For a scheduled overboard venting of 24 kg of water from the Lab condensate tank at 11:45am EDT (from as preheated vent), the Lab science window was temporarily shuttered and the station maneuvered (at 11:40am) to vent attitude by Russian thrusters under USTO (US Thrusters Only) control, to last until ~2:05pm. The window will be reopened for EarthKAM at ~5:05pm, well after dispersal of any residuals. [This was the first water collected through the new CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly). It was dumped overboard to avoid passing potential contaminants to the Russian water processing system.]

During the last “Saturday Science” session (8/12) with the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) payload, the crew completed 14 single satellite tests, and five two-satellite tests. They appeared to have been successful, and ground teams are awaiting the downlink of the data.

Early planning material for the STS-115/12A docked period was uplinked to the crew over the weekend for review:

Mission Events (all times EDT):

  • Launch: 8/27 (Sunday), 4:29:55pm
  • Docking: 8/29 (Tuesday, FD3), 12:37pm
  • EVA-1: FD4 (8/30)
  • EVA-2: FD5 (8/31)
  • EVA-3: FD7 (9/2)
  • Undocking: FD9 (9/4, Labor Day), 2:28pm
  • ISS Resume Increment Ops: FD10 (9/5, Tuesday)
  • Landing: FD12 (9/7, Thursday), 12:02pm.


  • CDR/IV–Brent Jett
  • PLT (SRMS)–Christopher Ferguson
  • MS1 (EV1)–Joe Tanner
  • MS2 (EV3, SRMS)–Daniel Burbank
  • MS3 (EV2, SSRMS, CM or Cargo Master)–Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper
  • MS4 (EV4, SSRMS)–Steven MacLean (CSA).

No CEO (crew earth observations) photo targets uplinked for today.

To date, more than 198,000 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.

CEO photography can be viewed and studied at the websites:

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 Orbit (as of this morning, 6:59am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 340.4 km
  • Apogee height– 345.4 km
  • Perigee height — 335.4 km
  • Period — 91.34 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0007462
  • Solar Beta Angle — 62.2 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.76
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 20 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 44235

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern and subject to change):

  • 08/27/07 — STS-115/12A launch (4:29:55pm EDT)
  • 08/29-09/04 — STS-115/12A docked mission w/ISS (earliest) – P3/P4 trusses
  • 08/31/06 — Pavel Vinogradov’s birthday
  • 09/07/06 – STS-115/12A landing at KSC (~12:02pm EDT)
  • 09/14/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S launch (Expedition 14 + VC11)
  • 09/15/06 — Progress M-56/21P undocking (SM aft port) & reentry
  • 09/16/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S docking (SM aft port)
  • 09/25/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S undocking (FGB nadir port) & land
  • 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)
  • 10/31/06 — Russian EVA-17
  • 12/14/06 — STS-116/12A.1 launch
  • 12/16-23/06 — STS-116/12A.1 docked mission w/ISS – P5 truss
  • 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)
  • 01/22/07 — US EVA-6
  • 01/26/07 — US EVA-7
  • 01/31/07 — US EVA-8
  • 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)
  • 02/22/07 — STS-117/13A launch – S3/S4 trusses
  • 02/24-03/03/07 — STS-117/13A docked mission w/ISS (earliest)
  • 03/08/07 — 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)
  • ??/??/07 — Soyuz TMA-10/14S relocation (SM aft port to FGB nadir port)
  • 06/11/07 — STS-118/13A.1

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 on NASA’s Human Spaceflight website. Additional satellite tracking resources can be found at

SpaceRef staff editor.