Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 August 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
August 15, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 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.

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. Tagging up with ground specialists, Pavel conducted manual experiment ops (stepping down RF power) and later terminated the experiment, 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 is being conducted with 6.81 micron particles at different pressures and HF generator power outputs to search for phase transition stages of the second order when exposed to an LF AC (Low Frequency Alternating Current) field. Objective is to generate a homogeneous plasma dust cloud (to close the void) by incrementally stepping down RF generator power output manually. Pavel was to make a total of 8 attempts during the experiment.]

Vinogradov and Williams took the CHeCS emergency medical operations OBT (on-board training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh their Crew Medical Officer (CMO)’s acuity in applying ACLS (advanced cardio life support) in an emergency. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) hardware, including ACLS equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The training drill, each crewmember for himself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

For his second MedOps WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool) session, Jeff Williams logged in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and performed the psychological evaluation exercise on the laptop-based WinSCAT experiment. [WinSCAT is a time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmembers or flight surgeons request.]

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

The FE-1 hooked up the UOP-DCP (Utility Outlet Panel-to-Display & Control Panel) bypass power cable at the Lab RWS (Robotics Work Station) and set up the DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) software in support of tomorrow’s SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) activities. [Objectives of the robotics ops tomorrow are to position the SSRMS in preparation for 12A and complete the required 12A MSS (Mobile Service System) pre-launch checkout items. For the checkout, the SSRMS will be maneuvered to the P1 truss SSAS (segment-to-segment attachment system) viewing position. DOUG is a software program on the MSS (Mobile Service System) RWS laptops that provides a graphical birdseye-view image of the external station configuration and the SSRMS arm, showing its real-time location and configuration on a laptop during its operation.]

FE-2 Thomas Reiter worked in the FGB module, replacing three life-expired Russian OSP-4 fire extinguishers with new units, stowing the old ones for disposal.

Jeff Williams supported MCC-H in setting up for a planned METOX (Metal Oxide) performance test by installing two fresh METOX carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption canisters in the Airlock’s CO2 removal box, waiting one hour for their conditioning and then closing the Node starboard hatch overnight. [Purpose of the test is to gain data on the performance of METOX canisters for CO2 removal while the Airlock (A/L) is isolated. The test will provide appropriate CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) air conditioner fan speeds to maintain good CO2 control for the campout EVA prep on 12A. The A/L ventilation will be configured overnight by ground commanding. The test will take approximately 15 hours to complete, and Jeff will re-open the hatch tomorrow morning. Begin of regeneration of the METOX cans is scheduled for Wednesday. ]

The FE-1 also had additional time allotted for gathering the gear required for Thursday’s scheduled DAFT (Dust & Aerosol Measurement Feasibility Test) operations. [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).]

All 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), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-2), RED resistive exerciser (FE-1, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR). For his 1.5-hr. session on the RED, Reiter set up the video camcorder for the first-time filming of his workout. [The RED video, showing the entire apparatus including the exercising envelope, is periodically required to support biomechanical evaluation of the exercising crewmember and assessment of the on-orbit setup of equipment during data collection. 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 2 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).

Thomas 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.

Jeff meanwhile 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).

At ~10:15am EDT, the crew conducted a science/research conference with ISS Program Scientist Don Thomas. Points of discussion pertained to payload crew procedures, payload handover topics, communications flow, stowage issues, Saturday Science, and look-aheads to Increment 14. [The Program Scientist was joined by Increment 13 Payload Manager George Norris, Inc 13 Lead Scientist Kenol Jules, ISS Deputy Program Scientist Julie Robinson, Inc 13 Payload Planning Manager Jim Watson, Inc 13 Lead Payload Ops Director Lamar Stacy, and Inc 14 Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria at Star City, plus attendees from ESA/ESTEC.]

The crew conducted a 2-hr. review and timeline study of the STS-115/12A plan and later held teleconferences with the Expedition 14 crew (~8:15am EDT) via Ku- and S-band and the STS-115 crew at Star City (~2:30pm) via S-band.

Working off his discretionary “time permitting” task list, the CDR completed the daily status check of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) Lada-8 experiment, including recharging the water tank, as well as photographic imagery of the experiment using the Nikon D1X digital camera with flash and copying all photos from the memory card to the RSK1 laptop for downlink.

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.]

The video of last Saturday’s science session with the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) payload found great acclaim on the ground and was used by PAO. SPHERES will be continued aboard ISS next Saturday (8/19).

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).

Today’s CEO (crew earth observations) photo target, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, was Patagonian Glaciers, South America (the southernmost mountains of Patagonia are blanketed with snow; this may obscure some of the smaller summit glaciers. Cloud cover was predicted to be variable, but more favorable for photography on the western face of the mountains. Overlapping nadir mapping frames along track were requested).

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:

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, 7:22am 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 — 0.0007443
  • Solar Beta Angle — 64.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.76
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 18 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 44251

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.