Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 April 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
April 15, 2005
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 April 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. A full rest day for the crew (except for some necessary tasks).

At Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Soyuz TMA-6 (10S) with Expedition 11 crewmembers Sergei Krikalev & John Phillips plus Italian VC8 cosmonaut Roberto Vittori launched on time last night at 8:46pm EDT after another flawless countdown of the Soyuz-FG. The 10S spacecraft is currently ending its first day of catching up with the station for the docking tomorrow evening at 10:19pm EDT (5:19am DMT/Moscow on Sunday).

First sleep period for the Soyuz crew, begun at 4:00am EDT this morning, ended today at 1:30pm. Before bed time, the crew monitored the first two regular maneuver burns DV1 & DV2 (of five total) and doffed/secured their Sokol pressure suits (which developed some visor fogging when the helmets were still closed during ascent). [Vittori conducted the first VC8 free-flight experiments by filling out the MOP (Motion Perception) questionnaire and briefly activating the EST (Electronic Space Test) as well as the Lagrange receiver of the Eneide GPS/ENOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) experiment, Europe’s first venture into satellite navigation.]

Aboard ISS, CDR/SO Leroy Chiao set up and tested the Soyuz relay video network for routing video coverage of the docking & crew arrival from the Russian segment (RS) to US segment (USOS) Ku-band assets via IBM A31p ThinkPad SSC (station support computer). A test of the setup was performed at ~10:40am EDT.

Also in support of the video coverage of the docking and particularly the hatch opening (Sunday morning, 4/17, at ~1:05am EDT) from the DC1 docking module, Sharipov charged the battery of his DVCAM PD-150P digital video camera. [The battery of DVCAM PD-1P, the second videocam, is scheduled for tomorrow.]

The crew worked on the Russian Kentavr (Centaur) garments, doing fit-checks and adjusting them for their individual sizes. The suits are kept in the Orbital Module of the Soyuz TMA until undock day. The activity was supported by a tagup with ground specialists via S-band. [The Russian Kentavr garment is a protective anti-g suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity. Consisting of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmember from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Sizing consists of adjusting lacing on the outer side of the shorts and on the inner side of the gaiters to achieve a tight fit.]

In preparation for the VC8 “Eneide” experiment program, Salizhan powered down the EGE-2 laptop, which up to now has supported the ROKVISS robotics experiment, and disconnected some adapter cables. EGE-2 was then turned back on again.

Leroy Chiao collected the four FMK (formaldehyde monitoring kit) units deployed by him in the station on 4/13 & 3/10, and packed them up for return on 9S.

Service Module Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem, Book 2, Mission Operations Directorate, 9 October 2000 [Acrobat] According to this document’s introduction “This book contains information for the crew about procedures and rules for the atmosphere revitalization subsystem, Elektron, Vozdukh, Micropurification Unit, and Fire Detection and Suppression Subsystem operations, as well as their schematic and operation logic.”

The FE performed the periodic (weekly) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the KOV thermal loops’ EDV container with purified (deionized) water from the BKO multifiltration/purification column unit. [The procedure was specially designed to prevent air bubbles from getting into the BZh liquid unit where they inevitably cause micropump impeller cavitation and Elektron shutdown. In the procedure, the EDV water is carefully drawn from the BKO and the air/liquid separator unit (GZhS) while the crewmember checks for any air bubbles in the EDV (and, if visible, estimates their number). Elektron water is also supplied from USOS condensate in a CWC (collapsible water container) that is checked for its contents of air bubbles and is rejected if the estimated total air bubble volume is more than 30 cubic centimeters (1 cm air bubble is about 0.5 ccm).]

Sharipov also did the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system, including ASU toilet system.

Working off the discretionary “job jar” task list, Salizhan performed the daily inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 experiment, including filling its water canister as required. [Rasteniya (“plants”) researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-5 greenhouse.]

The crew conducted their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser, and VELO cycle with bungee cord load trainer. [Salizhan’s daily protocol currently prescribes a four-day microcycle exercise with 1.5 hr on the treadmill and one hour on VELO (today: Day 3 of a new set).]

Chiao then transferred the daily 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, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium.

Leroy set up the SM’s amateur radio equipment and at 2:10pm engaged in a ham radio exchange with students at Ft. Ross Elementary School in Cazadero, CA. [Fort Ross is a small school located on the Northern California coast about 90 miles north of San Francisco. Its name derives from the Russian Fur station that was established here in 1812 and closed in 1841. It currently has an enrollment of 50 students in all 9 grades.]

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

Researchers on the ground again conducted the European/Russian laser-beam experiment SPQR (Specular Point-like Quick Reference), today during a 5-min “window” at 4:46am. [SPQR, installed at SM window #3 along with its Nikon D1X camera, tests a ground-based imaging system, using special optics and image processing, to determine the feasibility of detecting external damage to a spacecraft in orbit from the ground. It uses a pyramidal corner reflector (CCR, Cube Corner Reflector) at the SM window, to reflect a laser beam emitted by a ground station back to the ground. The crew was advised not to look out the portholes during the sessions, the times of which were uplinked, and there are no CEO targets scheduled during the brief sessions. The SPQR Hazard Report indicates that the laser power at the ISS remains well below the threshold for injury.]

The Elektron continues to run in 64 Amp mode in preparation for the arrival of the 10S crew. Total Station pressure will increase by ~7 mmHg per day in this mode. Trends show that the upper oxygen concentration limit will not be reached before the total pressure limit, set by Flight Rule. Plans are in place to make sure that no flight rules are violated in this regard.

Because of the 10S docking tomorrow night and subsequent joint operations, ISS crew will sleep-shift tomorrow for a short day. After regular wakeup at 2:00am EDT, bed time begins less than eight hours later – at 9:45am. Next wakeup is then scheduled for 6:15pm tomorrow evening, well in time for the docking at ~10:19pm (hatch opening: ~1:05am).

Last CEO session for Increment 10: 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 Calcutta, India (this was a nadir pass in high sun and fair weather except for the usual smog and haze. This city is situated in the western portion of the Ganges delta and its edges may be difficult to see. Using the long lens for detailed mapping), Irrawaddy R Delta, Burma (most of this complex river delta system was to the left of track. Concentrating on more nadir views of the southwestern corner using the long lens for details of land use, water color patterns, and island/sandbar evolution), Canary Island Wake Clouds (DYNAMIC EVENT: Cold, steady NE winds and a stable atmosphere over the eastern Atlantic have produced conditions favorable or wake clouds and Von Karman vortices downwind from the Canary Islands. They are quite visible in current satellite imagery. As ISS approached from the NW, the crew was to look obliquely right of track to document these features extending hundreds of miles southwest from the islands), and Lake Poopo, Bolivia (it has been some weeks now since this target area has been visible. Researchers are continuing to look for any changes in lake level and/or the presence of water in the large, bright salars to the SW of the lake. Looking just right of track. Sun glint enhancements were also possible).

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 10 crew visit:

Expedition 10 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
Real Time ISS TrackerMore Links

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 3:25am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 355.6 km
  • Apogee height — 360.0 km
  • Perigee height — 351.2 km
  • Period — 91.65 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006589
  • Solar Beta Angle — -9.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 150 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 36579

For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see html

Expedition 11/Expedition 10 Flight Timelines:

  • Soyuz 10S (Expedition 11+1; Sergei Krikalev, John Phillips, Roberto Vittori):
  • Kurs-A & Kurs-P short test (15 km) — 4/16 (Sat.), 9:34pm EDT;
  • Soyuz TV activation (8 km from ISS) — 9:42pm
  • Orbital Sunrise — 10:01pm
  • Flyaround — 10:01-10:10pm;
  • Stationkeeping & Start Final Approach — 10:10pm;
  • Docking — 4/16 (Sat.), 10:19pm EDT.

Soyuz 9S (Expedition 10+1; Leroy Chiao, Salizhan Sharipov, Roberto Vittori):

  • Undocking from FGB — 4/24 (Sun.), 2:38pm EDT (undock command);
  • Sep Burn #1 (manual) — 2:44pm;
  • Deorbiting Burn — 5:18pm (4 min 23 sec, delta-V 115.2 m/s);
  • Module Sep — 5:43pm;
  • Atmospheric Entry — 5:46pm;
  • Landing in darkness — 4/24 (Sun.) 6:09pm EDT; 3:09am (4/25) local Kustanai/Kazakhstan;
  • Sunrise at Kustanai landing site — 5:16am. [Note: Kazakhstan remains on
  • Standard Time; thus: local time = GMT+5].

Return to Flight:

  • LF-1 (STS-114)/Increment 11 SORR (Stage Operations Readiness Review) —
  • 4/20 (Wed.), at JSC;
  • LF1 (STS-114)/Discovery launch windows (all times EDT), for FD3 docking:
  • 5/15: 3:45 – 3:55pm;
  • 5/16: 2:22 – 2:32pm;
  • 5/17: 1:59 – 2:07pm;
  • 5/18: 1:34 – 1:44pm;
  • 5/19: 1:12 – 1:22pm;
  • etc.

Note: For the May/June launch period, the daily 10-minute planar launch window (i.e., in ISS orbit plane) starts an average 23 minutes earlier each day, extends into early June and closes due to current constraints of Daylight Launch (6/7) or ET umbilical photo opportunity (6/3). Figures are approximate. There would be additional opportunities for docking on FD4 (Flight Day 4), but that’s not planned. For a STS-114 launch on 5/15, docking will be on 5/17 and undocking on 5/25.

Other Upcoming Main Events:

  • Progress M-53 (18P) launch — 6/10;
  • ULF1.1 (STS-121) launch — NET 7/12;
  • Progress M-54 (19P) launch — 8/24;
  • Soyuz TMA-7 (11S) launch — 9/27.

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.