Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 December 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
December 20, 2005
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 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. Ahead: Week 11 for Expedition 12.

Valery Tokarev took his third physical test with the cardiological experiment Study of the Bioelectric Activity of the Heart at Rest (PZEh MO-1), with the CDR assisting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer).  [During the 30-min. test, the crew tagged up with ground specialists on a Russian ground site (RGS) pass on Daily Orbit 12 (~7:15am EST) via VHF and downlinked data from the Gamma-1M ECG (electrocardiograph) for about 5-6 minutes.]

The FE also performed IFM (in-flight maintenance) on the Russian segment (RS) s electrical power system (SEP), removing and replacing one of its RT-50-1M current regulators behind Panel 127 in the Service Module (SM) with a spare unit. Before the IFM, TsUP/Moscow deactivated the SKV-2 air conditioner, then powered down the BITS2-12 onboard systems telemetry and shut off VD-SU control mode. The activity was supported by ground specialist tagup.  [There are 12 RT-50-1Ms, which receive and regulate the current from the solar arrays, one for each solar array module. They stabilize the voltage at 28.5 V on the main bus assembly (BSSh). Each current regulator has a transistor switch that can be in one of three states: closed, open, or pulse-width modulation. As the electrical load increases, the regulators are opened automatically in succession from 1 to 12. After all of them are opened, the eight storage batteries (AB), with their ZRU charge/discharge units, are automatically connected to the bus. As the electrical load on the BSSh decreases, the current regulators are closed in reverse order.]  

Later, with SKV and BITS2-12 still temporarily deactivated, Valery also performed the periodic (monthly) functional closure test of a spare emergency vacuum valve (AVK) for the Vozdukh CO2 removal system.  [The AVKs are critical because they close the Vozdukh’s vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA). Access to vacuum is required to vent carbon dioxide (CO2) during the regeneration of the absorbent cartridges (PP). During nominal operation, the AVK valves remain open.]

Bill McArthur meanwhile spent three hours doing the periodic thorough inspection of the ELPS (emergency lighting power sources) in the U.S. segment. [There are three ELPS units in the Node, two in the Lab, and one ELPS in the US Airlock.]

In the Airlock, the CDR performed a checkout of the OSCA (Onboard Spacesuit Control Assembly), in order to verify proper operation for life extension certification.

Later, the Science Officer used a demonstration of the spacesuit hardware for his third EPO (Educational Payloads Operations) session, first reviewing the written procedure, then recording the activity with the camcorder.  [As in the past, the EPO footage is slated to be put to good use in NASA educational products, on websites, in schools, on TV, etc.]

Tokarev broke out and set up the equipment for tomorrow s planned Russian Urolux biochemical urine test (PZE MO-9).

For the standard air sampling, McArthur deployed two passive FMK (formaldehyde monitoring kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (below CEVIS) and SM (most forward handrail), to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis.

At ~8:00am EST, Bill McArthur had a personal voice conversation via S-band with J. K. Rowling, the British author of the Harry Potter books.

Later, at ~8:50am, the CDR configured the television hardware for two interactive TV PAO events of ~9 minutes each starting at 9:00am, with The Fayetteville Observer, Fayetteville, NC (Nomee Landis) and The Red Springs Citizen, Red Springs, NC (Mark Moses).

Valery performed the daily routine maintenance of the Service Module (SM)’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU). He also, working off his discretionary time available task list, 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).

Both crewmembers completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer, 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 in unmotorized mode and one hour on VELO plus load trainer (today: Day 3 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).

Cargo transfers to Progress 19 are almost complete, and TsUP is awaiting the crew s assessment of any additional time needed.

Testing of the SM s infrared horizon sensors has been completed, with both channels being entirely nominal.

The comm link/connection between Russian Laptop 1 (LT1) and the Central Post Computer (KTsP1) has been successfully restored by Tokarev.

The recent RS solar array efficiency testing has shown no sign of degradation on the SM arrays (an observed variance of ~3% is within the error band).

Troubleshooting continues of the failed CO (carbon monoxide) sensor of the SM gas analyzer system, in order to isolate the failed component.

Stored oxygen (O2) from Progress 19 has been used recently for refreshing the cabin atmosphere. With ~46 kg of O2 remaining in the cargo ship, the Elektron O2 generator will be started tomorrow to begin electrolyzing the accumulated technical water.

Needle cleaning of the US segment smoke detectors (SD) in Lab and Node was completed. The missing PromISS experiment hardware has not been located yet.

The P6 EPS (Electrical Power System) Battery Set 2B3 capacity test originally scheduled for 12/22 (Thursday) has now been moved up to 12/21 (Wednesday), to gain some time margin. This will conclude the 2B3 battery reconditioning.  [Nickel hydrogen batteries can develop and display memory loss resulting in a temporary loss of capacity that should be periodically erased by cycling all material via fully discharging and charging cells ( reconditioning ).]

Control Moment Gyroscope #4 (CMG-4) has shown an increased number of Fault indications from its EA (Electronic Assembly) over the weekend, along with an increase in SMCC (Spin Motor Commanded Currents) by about 0.25 amps. Both indications are now trending back down. Analysis is underway.

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

Ground-based troubleshooting continues on the RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module) 3A-E on the S0 truss, whose RPC-18 tripped last Friday morning, removing power from MT (Mobile Transporter) RPCM MT3A-A and associated loads. Analysis of dumped data indicated an over-current event and not a typical signature for a FET (field effect transistor) Hybrid failure. Further study also uncovered a failure in the data bus for Channel B. Channel A continues to be nominal, providing redundancy.  [The RPCM in question experienced a POR (power-on reset) earlier this year (4/15), but no RPC trip was indicated. RPCM MT3A-A was recently (11/7) removed and replaced during EVA due to tripped RPC-12. Currently, redundant heaters are available, so there’s no immediate impact. MT3A-A and MT loads downstream of it remain unpowered. With the exception of the open RPC-18 (“close” command is inhibited), commanding to RPCM S03A-E is unrestricted.]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observations) targets uplinked for today.

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, 6:04am EST [= epoch]):Mean altitude — 349.8 km

  • Apogee height — 356.9 km
  • Perigee height — 342.7 km
  • Period — 91.53 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.65 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010517
  • Solar Beta Angle — 19.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 60 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40484

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
  • 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.