Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 November 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
November 15, 2005
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 November 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.     

The crew continued preparations for the Soyuz TMA-7 relocation on Friday morning (11/18).   [Hatch closure between spacecraft and DC1 docking module is scheduled for 11:25pm EST (11/17), followed by leak checking at ~11:45pm.  Physical separation of Soyuz from the ISS occurs at 3:45am (11/18) on Daily Orbit 1 (DO1) over RGS (Russian ground stations), pushed by spring force with ~0.12 m/s delta-V.  After the translation to the FGB nadir port, final approach starts at ~4:13am, with docking at ~4:20am.  Crew ingress in the FGB is expected at ~6:15am EST.]

FE Tokarev supported a ground-commanded checkout of the Soyuz TMA-7/11S motion control system (SUD) which included pressurization of the Combined Propulsion System (KDU) Manifold 2 and tank section 2 systems, a test of the pilot’s translational hand controller (RUD), and a hot firing of the DPO braking thrusters.  KDU maneuver thrusters were not fired.   [For the test, station attitude was handed over to Russian thruster control at 4:10am EST, commanded to free drift, then to SUD test attitude (4:54am).  Attitude control was later (5:20am) returned to the U.S. segment (USOS).]

In the Soyuz Descent Module (SA), Valery improvised added air cooling to the periscope window (VSK-4) by installing two Orlan suit drying attachments (BVU-1) at the cabin wall, supported by ground specialist tagup.

After setting up the new LF1-delivered HRF2 WS2 (Human Research Facility 2/Work Station 2) in the Lab, CDR/SO McArthur performed its first-time checkout, for which he had prepared himself yesterday.  The task included functional testing as well as updating of the laptop’s antivirus software.  Afterwards the facility was closed down.   [The HRF team at POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) stood by to provide support as required.]

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


In the “Quest” Airlock, McArthur terminated the EMU battery charge/discharge cycle and Phase 2 of the METOX (Metal Oxide) canister regeneration.  Later in the day, Bill deactivated the CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) in the Lab which had supported the METOX operation.   [The battery maintenance was performed automatically by an SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop running a DOS-based discharge/recharge application.  For the METOX regeneration, Bill yesterday activated the Lab AR (Atmospheric Revitalization) rack and assisted in powering up the CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly), which the ground supported by lowering the ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) setpoint to 9.4 degC (today reset to 11.2 degC).  Also remotely deactivated today was the CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) air conditioner.  The recyclable METOX canisters are used in the U.S. EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units) for removal of CO2 from the air circulating in the suits.]

In preparation for the upcoming brief uncrewed period (which in the unlikely event of a failed redocking may require undocking of Progress-354/19P), the FE removed electronic equipment from the cargo ship, which would be recycled.  After successful Soyuz relocation, the electronics will be put back in until December (nominal 19P undocking is scheduled for 12/20).   [With Central Computer control transferred earlier from 19P thrusters to Service Module (SM) yaw, pitch and roll thrusters, the US-21 matching unit and SKV-1 dehumidifier were deactivated, followed by disconnecting the cables of the BITS 2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and turning off its VD-SU monitoring mode.  Valery then unbolted and removed the Progress’ US-21 in its container box.  BITS and SKV-1 were later reactivated.  The US-21, with its associated commutator gear, provides the electronic interface between the SM and the Progress for SM computer control of Progress propulsion.  When a Progress is undocked and jettisoned, the valuable electronics are retained in storage, to be recycled on a future vehicle.  The current electronics block was installed in 19P on 9/13/05.]

Later, Tokarev spent about an hour to install the SSVP docking mechanism in the hatchway between 19P and the SM aft end.  These systems, which would allow remote-controlled undocking of the drone, will again be cleared out after the Soyuz relocation, to enable trash loading.   [The SSVP is the “classic” probe-and-cone type, consisting of an active docking assembly (ASA) with a probe (SSh), which fits into the cone (SK) on the passive docking assembly (PSA).  The ASA is mounted on the Progress’ cargo module (GrO), while the PSA sits on the docking ports of the SM, FGB and DC1.]

Yesterday’s Progress manifold #1 thruster testing went without issue.  Each thruster was fired for 5 seconds, in the order of thruster #2 – #4 – #3 – #1. Total prop usage was 1.2 kg. The preliminary result indicated nominal firing of all four thrusters. The detailed analysis of the data is in work.

CDR McArthur completed the microbial (bacterial and fungal) T+5 Day analysis of air and surface samples collected on 11/10 in Lab, Node and SM.   [Bacterial and fungal air samples were taken at two locations in each module.  The colony growths incubated on the SSK (surface sampler kit) sampling slides and the MAS (microbial air sampler) Petri dishes were visually analyzed by comparison to an uplinked colony density chart and photographed; all microbiology sample data were downloaded to the medical equipment computer (MEC), and the equipment was then stowed.]

Bill also performed a second session with the BCAT-3 (Binary Colloid Alloy Test 3) experiment at the Lab MWA (Maintenance Work Area), performing photography of samples 1-6.   [Images were taken with the Kodak 760 digital still camera, then stored on a PCMCIA 1GB micro drive (a new card for each day of ops).  The MWA and BCAT-3 SGSM (slow growth sample module) had remained deployed until today’s ops were complete.  Activities will then pick up again on 11/28 with homogenization of sample 6 (which will destroy the samples’ colloidal structures) and photography of sample 6 using EarthKAM software.  Samples 1-6 were homogenized over a year ago, remaining in microgravity undisturbed as they continued to grow. They have had a very long time to exhibit colloidal/crystalline behaviors which have never before been experienced on Earth.]

Valery conducted his third session of the Russian “Uragan” (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the Nikon D1X digital camera with f400 mm lens and 2x teleconverter (thus, f800).   [Today’s targets were natural environment conditions and natural sites at Nairobi and the glacier of the Russian Geographic Society (RGS), located in the rectangular upper valley of the Vancha River abutting against the peak, on the opposite side of which is Fedchenko glacier, the largest in Pamir.]

Working off his discretionary task list, the FE also performed digital photography and video imagery for another session of the Russian “Diatomeya” ocean observations program.   [Valery used the Nikon D1X digital still camera with 85mm-lens and the DSR PD-150P Sony videocam from SM windows #7 and #8 to obtain oceanographic data on cloud cover, high production zones and associated oceanic phenomena in the Atlantic Ocean (offshore Californian upwelling, San-Diego and Los Angeles ecological ranges with contaminations, Gulf of California, Galapagos Islands, Peruvian upwelling).]

Tokarev completed the periodic replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, his third, filling the KOV thermal loops’ EDV container with purified (deionized) water from the BKO multifiltration/purification column unit, following carefully written instructions.   [The procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~20 mm from getting into the new BZh-8 Liquid Unit where they could cause 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, with up to 10 bubbles of less than 20 mm diameter permitted).  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).]

The FE did the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU), while McArthur updated/edited the regular IMS (Inventory Management System) delta file for its automated export/import to the three IMS databases (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur). 

Both crewmembers completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on the TVIS treadmill, RED resistive exerciser and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer.   [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 4 of the first set).]

Afterwards, McArthur transferred the TVIS and RED exercise data files to the MEC for downlink, as well as the daily wristband HRM (heart rate monitor) data of the RED workout, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

Bill also conducted the weekly routine maintenance on the TVIS treadmill, primarily inspecting the condition of the SLDs (subject loading devices), SLD cables and SPDs (subject positioning devices), plus recording time & date values.

At ~9:30am EST, the ISS crew participated in a live TV exchange with students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Alexandria VA, in recognition of International Education Week.   [NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale and U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings participated in the live downlink.  International Education Week, Nov. 14-18, is a joint initiative of the U.S.Departments of Education and State. This year, the theme is International Education: Improving Student Achievement Around the World. Established in 1895, TJHSST is dedicated to excellence in science, mathematics, and technology education. The school serves nearly 1800 students from six Northern Virginia school districts and has a strong foreign language program. Three of the questions posed to the station crew by the students were in Russian.]

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 Salamat Basin fans, Chad (vast swamplands made up of a series of large megafans [inland deltas] have only recently been mapped.  The megafans are unexpectedly large and occupy the continental divide between the Congo and Chad-Niger basins.  This is an unusual location since major sediment masses usually accumulate in basins far from divides.  Looking from nadir rightwards about 45 degrees), Toshka Lakes, Egypt (views were requested from nadir to the right of the series of new lakes in Egypt’s southern desert.  After years of rising water levels, a slight falling trend has begun.  Ecologists suspect that this may be the start of a long term episode in which less water is available for the millions of people resettled into the area), and Aswan Airport, Egypt (images of the runways were requested for pixel resolution study).

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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Real Time ISS TrackerMore Links

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 5:47am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 352.5 km
  • Apogee height — 358.0 km
  • Perigee height — 346.9 km
  • Period — 91.59 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008242
  • Solar Beta Angle — -29.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 100 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 39949

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

Upcoming Events (all dates Eastern):

  • 11/18/05 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S relocation (from DC-1 to FGB nadir port; sep @ 3:45am EST)
  • 12/07/05 — EVA-15 (Russian; under review)
  • 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.

Bonus Pic of the Day:

Ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and the ISS crew (background right; Shuttle Discovery at left) on 11/12/05 (Anaheim, CA):

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.