Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 December 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
December 19, 2005
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 December 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.

After setting up the necessary pump/hose hookup, FE Tokarev started transferring urine from four EDV-U liquid waste containers to the two Progress 19 “Rodnik” water tanks (BV) for disposal, emptying two containers each in BV1 and BV2. Afterwards, the hookup was disassembled again. Another EDV-U was loaded in Progress for disposal without emptying.  [Each of the two spherical Rodnik tanks (BV1 & BV2) consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane.]

Later in the day, Valery Tokarev had his first orthostatic hemodynamic endurance assessment session with the Russian Chibis suit, conducting the MedOps MO-4 exercise protocol in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP). Bill McArthur assisted his flight engineer as CMO (Crew Medical Officer), and the one-hour session was supported by tagup with a ground specialist via VHF at ~9:12am EST.  [The Chibis provided gravity-simulating stress to the body s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of Tokarev s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after 9 weeks in zero-G.]

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The CDR performed the regular 1.5-hr. inspection of the Lab window, taking digital photographs and video of the panes with the Kodak 760 DCS (digital camera system) and PD-100 camcorder, using an internal light source for specular illumination.  [The Lab window consists of two panes (primary & redundant), plus an interior pane as scratch protection and an external pane for debris protection. The inspection, done once every Increment, looks for contamination and damage. The major surface of concern is the exterior surface of the debris pane, but the procedure also includes any contamination (smudges, particulates, etc.) or damage (scratches, cracks, etc.) there may be on any of the other surfaces.]

After yesterday s periodic checkout of the MedOps cardiac defibrillator at the HRF1 (Human Research Facility 1), McArthur today initiated the regular recharge process on defib s battery #1 to full capacity and subsequently performed it also on battery #2. Each charge took ~3.5 hrs. The task concluded with an open-circuit battery voltage check with the MultiMeter gauge.  [The NiCads have to be charged every 60 days along with the defib checkout.]

The CDR relocated the US TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) radiation monitor, consisting of Detector and Spectrometer, from its place in the Service Module (SM) to its new location in the Lab starboard endcone, for which Bill had configured a Utility Outlet Panel (UOP-2) with a junction box (PS-120) on 12/13.  [TEPC is now plugged into the PS-120, which itself is connected to UOP-2. Also plugged into UOP-2 is the IVCPDS (Intravehicular Charged Particle Directional Spectrometer), deployed on a rack boom in the Lab.]

Valery again had time reserved to work on transferring excessed equipment to Progress-354/19P for disposal, with commensurate updates of the IMS (Inventory Management System) database.  [The activity is supported by an uplinked Russian trash designation log currently listing 194 Russian & US items. 19P will remain docked at the SM aft port until 3/3/06, to maximize use of its stored consumables (oxygen & propellants) and trash loading.]

After reconfiguring the video camcorder from yesterday s RED exercise recording, Bill performed the scheduled checkout of the new SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) on HRF1, documenting the activities with digital still & video imagery for ground evaluation.  [SLAMMD is intended to provide an accurate means of determining the on-orbit mass of humans spanning the range from the 5th percentile Japanese female and the 95th percentile American male. The procedure, in accordance with Newton s 2nd Law of Motion, finds the mass by dividing force, generated by two springs inside the SLAMMD drawer, by acceleration measured with a precise optical instrument that detects the position versus time trajectory of the SLAMMD guide arm and a micro controller which collects the raw data and provides the precise timing. The final computation is done via portable laptop computer with SLAMMD unique software. To calculate her/his mass, the crewmember wraps the legs around a leg support assembly, aligns the stomach against a belly pad and either rest the head or chin on a head rest. For calibration, an 18-lbs. mass is used at different lengths from the pivot point, to simulate different mass values. Crew mass range is from 90 to 240 lbs.]

Both crewmembers completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program, Bill on the CEVIS, TVIS treadmill, and RED resistive exerciser, Valery on TVIS (plus VELO bike during MO-4, above).  [Valery s daily protocol prescribes a strict four-day microcycle exercise with 1.5 hr on the treadmill and one hour on VELO plus resistive load trainer (today: Day 4 of the first set).]

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

The CDR also completed the regular bi-monthly reboot of the OCA (Orbit Communications Adapter) comm router SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop.

At ~4:50am EST, the FE conducted the weekly IMS (Inventory Management System) tagup with specialists at TsUP/Moscow, discussing open issues concerning identification of equipment and storage locations for the IMS databases via S-band.  [Today s topics concerned necessary location updates for items like a boot plate, Aramide tape, a Kromka container, and kits with dummy connectors for EVA.]

Afterwards, working off his voluntary time as available task list, Tokarev performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU) and updated/edited the standard IMS delta file , including locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

At ~2:15pm, Bill and Valery conducted their seventh regular (nominally weekly) teleconference with the Lead Flight Director at MCC-H and TsUP/Moscow via S-band/audio, with a phone patch between Houston and Moscow.  [An item of discussion was BCR (Bar Code Reader) troubleshooting, to help ground specialists understand if BCR transactions with the IMS are working satisfactorily for the crew or if there are any issues. BCR operations were reported to have improved after Bill power-cycled the WAP (Wireless Access Point) and File Server during the UOP-2 reconfiguration on 12/13.]

Tokarev s replacement of the hard drive on Russian Laptop #1 (LT1) and its subsequent ghosting (cloning) with the latest software load yesterday were successful. LT1 operation was restored.

This morning, RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module) 3A-E on the S0 truss experienced a trip of RPC-18 which powers the VSC (Video Signal Conditioner) and Heater on the Robotics MT (Mobile Transporter). The systems remains on single-string power which, however, could be lost if a POR (Power-on Reset) is experienced that would open the remaining RPCs within the module. Even then, there would be at least three hours before the temperature drops below Flight Rule limit. Troubleshooting is underway, and a change in ISS flight attitude is not required.

Preparations for next week s launch of Progress-355/20P are continuing nominally at Baikonur/Kazakhstan. The launch is set for 1:38pm EST on 12/21. After the standard two-day catch-up flight template, docking of the automated cargo ship will occur on 12/23 (Friday) at ~2:54pm.  [20P is manifested to deliver to the ISS ~2.5 tons of cargo, including propellants, oxygen & air, water, dry cargo, and Christmas/New Year surprises. The cargo also includes a suite of 17 new science experiments from Russia, Japan, ESA and US.]

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 Muglad Basin fans, SW Sudan (mapping swath across the center of this site was requested at nadir along track. Imagery from this and two prior increments shows that the landscape is made up of numerous superimposed river courses. Investigators are acquiring sufficient detail to be able to distinguish (a) four separate river networks types [e.g. very wide courses that indicate much increased flow during climates wetter than today s], and (b) a relative chronology of these networks. The modern visible patterns are assumed to be a close parallels for underground, oil-rich rocks), Nairobi, Kenya (looking a touch left of track), Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kenya (looking a touch left of track for the summit Icefield), Patagonian Glaciers (the Northern Icefield should have been cloudfree: images of glacier tongues, large and small, were requested, looking just left of track. The smaller Northern Icefield has generally received less attention than the Southern. Research based on in-situ surveys and more recently on SRTM [Shuttle Radar Topography Mission] data, has shown that most glaciers in Patagonia are thinning, and that thinning occurs at rates four times greater than rates of glacier end-point retreat), and Internal waves, S Patagonian Shelf (looking aft near the glint point for possible internal waves on the wide shelf).

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 EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 350.0 km
  • Apogee height — 357.1 km
  • Perigee height — 342.9 km
  • Period — 91.54 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010541
  • Solar Beta Angle — 9.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 54 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40437

Upcoming Events (all dates Eastern):

  • 12/21/05 — Progress M-55/20P launch (1:38pm EST)
  • 12/23/05 — Progress M-55/20P docking (2:54pm EST, at DC1)
  • 01/09/06 — 100 days for Expedition 12
  • 02/02/06 — Russian EVA-15
  • 03/03/06? — Progress M-54/19P undocking & reentry (baseline date under review)
  • 03/22/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S launch (Exp. 13 + Marcus Pontes/Brazil)
  • 03/24/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S docking (DC1)
  • 04/01/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S undocking & return (Exp. 12 + Marcus Pontes)
  • 04/06/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S relocation (DC1 to FGB nadir port)
  • 04/09/06 — Progress M-55/20P undocking & reentry
  • 04/10/06 — Progress M-56/21P launch
  • 04/12/06 — Progress M-56/21P docking.

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.