Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 May 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
May 19, 2005
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 May 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.  

CDR Krikalev performed Part 1 of his first onboard Profilaktika (MBI-8) preventive health maintenance fitness test series, starting with the VELO stationary bike ergometer.  [Sergei will do two additional parts of the test, one with the NS-1 Load Trainer tomorrow, the other with the TVIS treadmill on 5/19. Test procedure for MBI-8 is identical to the Russian MO-5 assessment, but in addition to the nominal procedure, it calls for the use of the TEEM-100M gas analyzer with breathing mask and a subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels during the test. Results are entered on a log sheet. TEEM and ECG (electrocardiograph) data are transferred to the Laptop 3, also on a tape cassette (Cardiocassette-2000), and prepared for later downlink via Regul-Packet comm. Results were also called down to specialists standing by at TsUP.]


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Soyuz | Progress
ISS News | ATV

FE/SO Phillips deployed two passive FMK (formaldehyde monitoring kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (below CEVIS) and Service Module (SM, most forward handrail), to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent laboratory analysis. (Last time done: 4/13).

Later in the day, Phillips collected air samples at the centers of the Lab and the Service Module (SM) with the Dual Sorbent Tube (DST), instead of the old SSAS (Solid Sorbent Air Sampler), while Krikalev used the Russian AK-1M sampler in the SM and FGB, followed by a check for CO in the SM with the IPD-CO Draeger tubes sampler. (Last time done: 4/24) 

In the Node, the FE cleaned the smoke detector #2 (SD-2) unit.  [Last year, SD-2 exhibited some spurious behavior, resulting in a false fire alarm on 8/18, due to dust or debris in the housing. Since then, special attention is paid to its cleaning, with brush and vacuum cleaner (no nitrogen due to current N2 cartridge shortage)].

The CDR conducted an IMS (Inventory Management System) audit/inventory of the Russian docking assembly (StA) accessories, stored in kits in the SM, FGB, DC-1 Docking Compartment and Soyuz TMA-6 Descent Module (BO).

Also in the TMA-6 BO, Sergei continued the current round of monthly preventive maintenance on Russian segment (RS) air ventilation systems by cleaning the screen/grid of the BVN fan & air heater assembly to assure adequate air ventilation for the relocation of the spacecraft to the FGB nadir-facing port (ASPB) later this year (~8/16).

In the Lab module, Dr. Phillips powered up the HRF GASMAP (Human Research Facility/Gas Analyzer System for Metabolic Analysis Physiology) and its laptop for the routine 30-day health check, his first for Increment 11. Later in the day, the equipment was turned off again.  [During the health check, the GASMAP AM (Analyzer Module) is powered on and runs for approximately 6 hours to maintain the integrity of the hardware. In addition, the CM (Calibration Module) tank values are logged to track gas usage.]

In preparation for using the video equipment of the European Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) to record extended TV imagery, John set up the Glovebox s video system, connected to the VIU/CM (video interface unit/camera), and activated it for a checkout and testing of its videotape recording. The tape was then retrieved and the video deactivated.  [The MSG video equipment tested today will be used next Thursday (5/19) for an extended recording of the scheduled FOOT (Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight) experiment activity. Employing the MSG s Hi-8mm recording equipment allows the use of a 4-hr. tape instead of the 40-min. tapes obtainable from the Lab VT10 camcorder. Also, one of the four MSG recorders will be configured for downlink, so that the ground can start and stop the downlink without crew intervention.]

In the FGB, Krikalev replaced a magnetic recording memory device (ZU-1A) in the Zarya module s primary radio telemetry unit (RTU-A), discarding the old component. The activity was supported by ground specialist tagup.  [The two independently operating RTU-A and B data telemetry subsystems are part of the FGB s radio telemetry system which, with its transmitters, commutators, external antennas, etc., is activated and deactivated in response to the Komparus onboard radio command & measuring system (KIS).]

John Phillips worked on the A31pThinkpad laptop shell #1002 that failed recently as SSC-8 by not booting up. Today s troubleshooting, performed at the CPSD (crew personal support disk) location of UOP-6 (Utility Outlet Panel #6), focused on resetting the shell s BIOS (Basic Input/Output System).  [The HDD (hard disk drive) in the shell has changed from #1005 to #1010. BIOS is built-in software that determines what the laptop can do without accessing programs from the HDD. On PCs, the BIOS contains all the code required to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drives, serial communications, and a number of miscellaneous functions.]

Using the IMS for tracking/logging, the FE worked in the US Airlock s C/L (crewlock) to unstow and clear out equipment, leaving a few specific bags in place.

In further preparation for LF-1/STS-114 arrival in July, Phillips completed a procedure for pressurizing and leak-checking the PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter #2). Tomorrow, PMA-2 will be opened, unstowed, then closed up again and depressed. PMA-2 heaters have been activated to provide adequate temperature for crew ingress.  [Pressurization and leak checking of the docking adapter is performed by a crewmember from the Lab via the MPEV (manual pressure equalization valve) on the hatch, connected at its vacuum port to the ISA (internal sampling adapter) and its scopemeter (with pressure module adapter, checked out yesterday) through a VAJ (vacuum access jumper. To monitor cabin pressure during the PMA repress, TsUP/Moscow switched to the MDD total pressure sensors in the SM.]

Sergei did the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system including its ASU toilet system, plus today also the weekly inspection of the BRPK air/liquid condensate separator apparatus, and later prepared the regular IMS delta file for export/import to the IMS databases.

John Phillips completed his regular daily 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer, RED resistive exerciser and VELO bike with bungee cord force loader, with Krikalev s exercise accounted for by his MBI-8 Profilaktika run in the morning.  [Yesterday s three-hour IFM (in-flight maintenance) on the treadmill was successfully completed. The forward and aft gyroscope wire ropes were replaced, and the crew also verified the proper connection of the TVIS power cables and downlinked a videotape of the entire activity. The CDR later performed a motorized treadmill exercise session which served as the activation and checkout of the maintenance procedure. Following analysis of the downlinked data, Sergei was cleared for nominal use of TVIS (starting with his third MBI-8 session on Thursday). The Flight Engineer will be cleared for exercise once a test exercise session with video imagery is scheduled and the data analyzed. The test run will probably be scheduled on Thursday, 5/19.]

Afterwards, John 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 his workout on RED and CEVIS, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium.

Working off his job jar task list, the CDR conducted another session with the “Uragan” (hurricane) earth-imaging program, focusing the Nikon D1X No. 3 digital camera with 800-mm lens on targets called out on an uplinked list.  [Targets for today were mud volcanoes of the Taman peninsula, Black Sea coast, Krasnodar reservoir, the hydrologic situation in the flood plain and delta of the Volga River in the Astrakhan Region, and scenic imagery of the Altai mountains, with the valley of the Katun River as special interest target. The photos were to be downlinked in zipped format ASAP.]

During Daily Orbits 3-5 (10:33am 1:52pm EDT), TsUP/Moscow conducted remote-commanded tests of the external ROKVISS experiment payload over the Oberpfaffenhofen ground site.  [Objective of ROKVISS (Robot Komponent Verification on ISS), a pioneering German-Russian mission, is to demonstrate the ability of robots to perform on-orbit servicing & repair tasks. Consisting of a 50cm-long double-jointed manipulator arm with a single finger, two cameras and an impedance control system that allows ground specialists to operate the arm in real time, ROKVISS is seen as the forerunner of a German-Russian-Canadian free-flying robot to be developed later in this decade. Its HDR (high data rate) S-band comm link is designed to keep total signal roundtrip time well below 500 millisecond (considered the limit for comfortable force feedback ops) and to ensure that force/position data are jitter-free. Because of limited direct-comm windows from the German control site at Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich/Bavaria, the experiment includes automatic control gear, requiring pre-stored commands, onboard data file storage and efficient, time-saving downlinking at window openings, which are the reason of the current “off-nominal” mods. ROKVISS operational testing, starting next week, is expected to extend over one year.]

Starting this morning at 2:00am EDT and running for seven hours, MCC-H and its support group in Moscow (HSG) conducted another BCC (Backup Control Center) dry run in test mode, with no involvement of the ISS crew or vehicle. Purpose of the periodic exercise was to demonstrate BCC functionality under Russian assets, while providing proficiency training for HSG (Houston Support Group) personnel at the HSR (Houston Support Room) and TsUP/Moscow specialists. Old recorded telemetry data were used for the comm/connectivity test.  [The ISS EMCC (Emergency Mission Control Center), located in Russia, comprises TsUP/Moscow as the Lead Control Center, coupled with HSR at TsUP. The BCC facility provides a command and control capability from TsUP if the EMCC must be activated. This is the case in situations that render MCC-Houston unable to provide telemetry, voice, and command capability for extended periods. EMCC is also used when the threat of severe weather results in evacuation of the MCC-H building for extended periods. In such an emergency, both Russian servers (CMD/command & TM/telemetry) are transitioned from MCC-H connectivity to BCC configuration, after which only the BCC can connect to the CMD and TM ports. An actual contingency requiring switchover to the BCC occurred on 10/2/2002 when Hurricane Lili forced MCC-H to shut down at 4:00am EDT.]

Yesterday during an out-of-comm (LOS, loss-of-signal) period, the IVCPDS (intravehicular charged particle directional spectrometer) in the Lab unexpectedly transitioned to Standby and did not automatically return to Acquire. Data analysis is underway.

The troubleshooting of UOP-4 (Utility Outlet Panel #4) load components scheduled for yesterday (5/16) was deferred to a later date due to the lengthy TVIS IFM.   [The checkout concerns those components that were connected to the UOP at the time the RPC-4 (Remote Power Controller #4) tripped in November 2004.]

During a 4-min window at 9:24pm EDT last night, researchers on the ground once more conducted the European/Russian laser-beam experiment SPQR (Specular Point-like Quick Reference). Another test shot is scheduled for Thursday night at 8:42pm. [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.]

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 Irrawaddy River Delta, Burma (good views of this complex delta are not common either due to clouds or low visibility from smoke and have. Crew was to take advantage of this nadir pass in high sun to map it in detail, trying for nadir views, avoiding oblique views if atmospheric aerosols were evident),. Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (during the past decade record high water levels for the Nile River have allowed diversion of surplus water from Lake Nasser westward into the desert. This resulted in the rapid formation of a number of unplanned bodies of water known as the Toshka Lakes to form. Water levels appear to have peaked a few years ago and now we are monitoring these lakes for change in levels and human development on their shorelines. This particular pass offered sun glint enhancement opportunities as well. Using the long lens and trying to map these lakes in glint), Cape Verde Islands Dust Event (DYNAMIC EVENT: A major dust plume exiting the African coast and moving through the Cape Verde Islands was noted in satellite imagery this morning. As ISS approached from the SW, the crew was to look left of track for edges to this large, thick plume to document its extent. Overlapping views with islands and land masses for reference are of particular value here), and Internal waves, E & W Florida coasts (this was a fine pass for sun glint enhancement of sea surface features in the coastal waters of southern Florida. As ISS approached the Gulf Coast from the SW, the crew was to shoot left of track for glint features, especially near Tampa Bay. As they emerged on the Atlantic coast, they were to look for glint to increase near Cape Canaveral).

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 11 crew visit:

Expedition 11 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, 4:36am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 353.6 km
  • Apogee height — 357.4 km
  • Perigee height — 349.8 km
  • Period — 91.61 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.65 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005626
  • Solar Beta Angle — 16.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 200 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 37083

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

Some Increment 11 Main Events (not final):

  • Progress M-52 (17P) undock — 6/16;
  • Progress M-53 (18P) launch — 6/17 (dock 6/19);
  • Reboost — ~6/22 (delta-V 1.5 m/s);
  • LF-1/STS-114 launch — NET 7/13 (window opens);
  • Soyuz TMA-6 (10S) relocate (from DC-1 to FGB) — 8/16;
  • Progress M-53 (18P) undock — 8/23;
  • Progress M-54 (19P) launch — 8/24 (dock 8/26);
  • ULF1.1/STS-121 launch — NET 9/9 (window opens);
  • Soyuz TMA-7 (11S) launch — 10/22 (dock 10/24);
  • Soyuz TMA-6 (10S) return — 11/1.

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 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.