Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 December 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
December 2, 2005
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 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.

CDR McArthur began the extensive IFM (in-flight maintenance) on the U.S. VOA (Volatile Organic Analyzer), for which his schedule had about six hours reserved today.  Before starting, Bill set up the videocam for downlink, with the VTR1 (Video Tape Recorder 1) running to keep a record, and he also used a still camera for photodocumenting his activities.    [The VOA, inoperable since July 2003 due to failed heaters, detects trace organic compounds in the atmosphere by taking in an air sample, dividing it between two channels and concentrating the compounds in an adsorption bed called a “trap”, which is then quickly heated to 300° C to desorb the compounds.  The compounds proceed through a 60m-long tightly wound gas chromatograph column to separate out different molecules based on their rate of diffusion.  Finally, the compounds reach the IMS (Ion Mobility Spectrometer) detector where they are ionized and further separated, based on differences in their rate of mobility through an electric field.  Telemetry has indicated that the most likely cause of the heater circuit failures in both the Channel 1 Trap and Channel 2 IMS was the use of thermal fuses with a previously unknown life limitation.  McArthur’s task today was to remove the VOA from the CHeCS rack, open it up and replace the fuses on both traps with new ones.  Other tasks, spanning a total of three work days, include replacement of the fuses of both IMS cells, nitrogen dryer, oxygen scrubber, sieve packs, pumps, fans, and filters.  The work will conclude on Day 3 with VOA reassembly and re-installation in the CHeCS rack and its activation.]


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

FE Tokarev continued cargo transfer operations from Progress-354/19P to the ISS, tracking the equipment movements in the IMS (Inventory Management System), afterwards also updating/editing the standard IMS delta file, including locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).   [The task is taking longer than planned because of the IMS updating which increases the time.  Last night, the crew estimated that 12 more crew-hours are required to complete the 19P offloading.]

Continuing the current round of monthly preventive maintenance/cleaning of Russian segment (RS) SOTR ventilation systems, the FE also spent ~40 min. in the DC1 docking module to clean the VD1 & VD2 air duct filters.

Valery took the weekly cabin air data with the Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer system (GANK-4M) of the SM Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring system (SOGS).   [GANK tests particularly for NH3 (ammonia) and HCl (hydrogen chloride).]

The FE also performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU), plus the weekly inspection of the air/liquid condensate separator apparatus (BRPK).

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 1 of the first set).]

Afterwards McArthur transferred the TVIS and RED exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, as well as the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data from the workouts, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week)

At ~1:55pm, Bill and Valery conducted their sixth 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.

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets, limited in the current XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, which is available for only ~1/4 of each orbit when not facing forward (“in ram”), were Sobat fans, SE Sudan (broad orientational views–taken obliquely looking right–were requested for the entire zone between the mountain front of the Ethiopian Plateau and the Nile.  Prior images from Expedition 12 provided useful localized information on these subtle, flat landscape features, but cloud cover prevented wider views.  The fans are known to exist, but confused drainage patterns and fire scars make delineation difficult.  Future detailed imagery will reveal topographic margins, etc., in combination with the SRTM [Shuttle Radar Topography Mission] data), Tropical Storm Epsilon, W Atlantic (Dynamic event.  Looking left for a well-organized spiral cloud mass.  This is the 26th named storm for the year 2005.  Epsilon almost reached hurricane strength three days after the formal end of the tropical storm/hurricane season, but is expected to subside now that it is moving NE), Costa Rica (Dynamic event.  This is the short cloud-free season over Central America.  Looking right for views of the high Talamanca Range of Costa Rica and Panama and the associated cloud patterns.  The range produces various local wind flows that generate, among other effects, local high rainfall zones on the “dry” Pacific side of the isthmus.  This phenomenon has recently been recognized on the Pacific side of volcanoes further south.  These wet zones may act as centers of biodiversity, cut off by surrounding dry landscapes), and Galeras Volcano, S Colombia (Dynamic event.  Galeras erupted ten days ago and smokes intermittently.  Looking right about two degrees off track, for what should have appeared as a gray, ash-covered landscape on the crest of the Andes.  Residents of many villages have been moved away from the area for fear of new eruptions).

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, 6:51am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 351.3 km
  • Apogee height — 357.3 km
  • Perigee height — 345.3 km
  • Period — 91.56 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008896
  • Solar Beta Angle — -53.5 deg  (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 90 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40217

Upcoming Events (all dates Eastern):

  • 12/20/05?? — Progress M-54/19P undocking & reentry (baseline date under review)
  • 12/21/05 — Progress M-55/20P launch
  • 12/23/05 — Progress M-55/20P docking
  • 01/09/06 — 100 days for Expedition 12
  • 02/02/06 — Russian EVA-15
  • 03/22/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S launch
  • 03/24/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S docking
  • 04/01/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S undocking & return.

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.