Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 May 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
May 19, 2005
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 May 2005

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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.  

After yesterday s PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter #2) repressurization to 737 mmHg and overnight leak-checking, the crew today opened the hatchway from the Lab and ingressed the adapter to clean it out in preparation for LF-1 docking. The majority of the unstowed cargo was moved to PMA-3.  [The crew then took a photo of the PMA-2 retaining bungee wall so that they can recreate a similar wall in PMA-3 for stowage next month.]

Later, FE Phillips set up PMA-2 for LF-1 by performing its carefully choreographed depressurization to less than 2 psi, using the A/L DPA (US Airlock Depress Pump Assembly), into the A/L Crewlock (C/L) compartment and completing the process with the Lab PCA (pressure control assembly) out to vacuum. During the depress activities, the hatch seals were verified as remaining tight.  [For using the DPA, which shortened the depress period considerably, John had to connect a 35-ft. VAJ (vacuum access jumper) hose from the Lab forward hatch to a 35-ft. VAJ connected to the A/L hatch s EMPEV (emergency manual pressure equalization valve), normally done for pressure adjustments (venting and repressurizing) of the cabin atmosphere, e.g., for the EVA prebreathe exercise phase. The pressure in the A/L C/L was reduced for the activities, after equipment potentially vulnerable to low air pressure was temporarily removed yesterday to the Node. After PMA-2 depress, the A/L VAJ was detached and the C/L repressurized and restowed with IMS (Inventory Management System) support.]


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

CDR Krikalev performed the Day 2 portion of the three-part MBI-8 Profilaktika (preventive health maintenance) fitness test series started yesterday, today using the NS-01 load trainer on the VELO cycle ergometer, keeping a log and supported by tag-up with medical support personnel at TsUP/Moscow. Part 3, on the TVIS treadmill, will conclude the assessment tomorrow.  [Today s Russian fitness test consists of four types of exercise, viz., neck tilting (back/forward), simultaneous forearm flexing, trunk extension, and trunk flexes. Each type of exercise consists of a series of 15 motions repeated two times. Load levels are selected by the ground and do not change from test to test. Total duration of the test is 13 min. Gas analysis and subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels are also performed as a part of this test, using the TEEM-100M gas analyzer, but no lactate level and creatine kinase blood testing as in previous runs.]

Continuing the current round of monthly preventive maintenance on Russian segment (RS) air ventilation systems, Sergei cleaned ventilation fan grilles behind interior panels in the FGB/Zarya module and removed and replaced the FGB s two dust collector filters (PS1 & PS2). (Last time done: 2/15).

In preparation for his first session with the FOOT (Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight) experiment, scheduled for tomorrow, the FE/SO set up the equipment in the Lab, including preparations for the EMG (electromyography) calibration with camcorder/video recording, which is to precede the day-long ops.  [Feedback from John s EMG calibration dry run last week was uplinked by the FOOT team with advice, to get him started off on the right foot .]

The crew performed another cabin atmosphere repress with air from Progress 17 tankage of about 8 mmHg. An additional 3 mmHg of oxygen will be introduced on Friday (5/20). It is estimated that 17P gas supplies will last through 5/22-23, after which SFOG candles (solid-fuel oxygen generator, Russian: TGK) will be used until the Elektron water electrolysis system is restored to service later this year, either with a new electronic control box manifested on Progress 18 or a redesigned new BZh Liquid Unit on 19P.

In preparation for using the SFOGs, CDR Krikalev retrieved the thermal cover for the SFOG housing and surveyed the stowage locations of SFOG cartridges, using an uplinked list identifying 106 candles (old plus new).  [Each candle contains a briquette of solid LiClO4 (Lithium Perchlorate), enough to generate 600 liters (1.74 lb) of oxygen by thermal decomposing (burning), sufficient for one person/day. Reaction temperature is about 450-500 degC, generating ~800W of heat. Ignition of the compound, currently by striking an igniter tablet (squib), will be done electrically after delivery of new equipment on 18P. In addition to the SFOGs, the US Airlock HPGTs (high-pressure gas tanks) contain 362 lbs. of gaseous oxygen.]

Sergei also did the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system including its ASU toilet system, 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 on VELO this morning.  [Krikalev is already cleared for performing MBI-8/Part 3 on TVIS tomorrow. The FE will be cleared for the treadmill once a test exercise session with video imagery is scheduled and the data analyzed. The test run will probably be scheduled tomorrow.]

Afterwards, Phillips 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 involved scenic imagery of the Altai mountain range, with the valley of the horse-shoe shaped Katun River as special interest target. The pictures were to be downlinked in zipped format ASAP.]

Despite John s attempts, yesterday, at cleaning Node smoke detector #2 (SD-2) with a syringe to restore it to full functionality, SD-2 is not showing significant improvement of its obscuration and scatter readings. The sensor is now inhibited for annunciation, which leaves the Node currently with one healthy SD that is enabled for detection & annunciation. Ground specialists are at work developing cleaning alternatives for recovering full use of SD-2.

The FE s work on restoring the failed SSC A31p laptop shell #1002 yesterday was not yet successful.  [After resetting the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) of the machine, it failed to boot up completely. Further troubleshooting will be scheduled at a later date, probably powered from an SSC power supply and battery currently used in the SM. Incidentally, this laptop was the first ThinkPad A31p model deployed during Increment 7.]

The upload of a software patch to both GNC MDMs (guidance, navigation & control multiplexer/demultiplexers, =computers) originally planned for today was postponed to gain additional time for checking out the software on the ground.  [The patch will prepare the GNCs for the CMG-2 (control moment gyroscope #2) patch panel reconfiguration during LF-1 EVA-1 in July. The deferral also postponed two required attitude control handovers between the US and Russian segments and a swap of the two MDMs.]

During various RGS (Russian ground site) comm passes, TsUP/Moscow and Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany continued tests of the downlink functionality of the BSR-TM Regul interface unit (part of the Russian radio control & communications system) and of the ROKVISS robotics experiment, without crew involvement.

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 Ganges River Delta (although clouds were expected in the interior, this should have been a good pass for detailed mapping the coastal margins of the delta, using the long lens. Of particular interest here are the dark masses of mangrove forest known as the Sunderbans. Human encroachment on and environmental change to the Sunderbans National Park is being monitored. The mega city targets of Calcutta and Dhaka may also have been visible this pass), Mexico City, Mexico (the crew had a near-nadir pass with high sun and few clouds. They used the long lens for detailed mapping of this sprawling mega city. Emphasis was on low-oblique mapping of the urban edges), and Coweeta Forest, North Carolina (this Long Term Ecological Research (LTER, see 5/14 Status report) site is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. On this pass investigators requested context views to familiarize the crew with the lay of the land and provide images that they can annotate and uplink to ISS with specifics of the site location and its features when requesting long lens views in the future. As ISS approached Atlanta, the crew was to begin mapping the linear ridges of the southern Appalachian Mountains.

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, 5:02am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 353.5 km
  • Apogee height — 357.4 km
  • Perigee height — 349.6 km
  • Period — 91.61 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005827
  • Solar Beta Angle — 11.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 70 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 37099

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.