Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 March 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
March 20, 2006
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 March 2006

SpaceRef note: This NASA Headquarters internal status report, as presented here, contains additional, original material produced by (copyright © 2006) to enhance access to related status reports and NASA activities.

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.  Underway: Week 24 for Expedition 12.

Soyuz TMA-7 (11S) relocation went smoothly.  After a brief ride in their crew return vehicle (see picture, below), FE Valery Tokarev and CDR/SO Bill McArthur docked at the Service Module (SM) aft port at 2:11am EST, completing the spacecraft s relocation from the FGB nadir port in just 22 minutes. This makes Valery and Bill the first crewmembers to have docked on and ingressed all three Russian ports on the ISS during one Increment: FGB, DC1, and SM   [After on-time undocking at 1:49am EST, Tokarev backed away from the station 25-30 m, then translated the spacecraft to the left, flying sideways, along the ISS toward the tail before turning nose-forward and rotating ( indexing ) the Soyuz around its longitudinal axis to align its periscope with the docking target on the SM aft end, spending a short time in station-keeping mode. Final approach began at ~2:06 am, with docking at 2:11am, about 31 min. earlier than expected. After hooks and latches were engaged, the crew conducted leak checks and then reentered the station through the SM.]

After powering off Soyuz systems, the crew reactivated all station systems that had been switched to autonomous (unmanned) configuration.  [Activations, generally requiring the crew only for monitoring, involved the power system, PSS caution & warning (C&W) panels in SM, FGB and DC1, DSD pressure sensor, Central Post BVS computer/control systems (Wiener laptop, printer, InPU displays), ventilation systems and air ducts in SM, DC1 and FGB, SM ASU toilet facilities, time clock, Vozdukh CO2 scrubber, SKV air conditioner, SRVK-2M condensate water supply system & processor, SOTR thermal control system, SOP food systems, STTS onboard communications links, Pille radiation dosimeters, etc.]

As part of Russian segment (RS) post-docking activities, the crew set up their spacesuits for drying, supported by uplinked instructions.

Hatches to the U.S. segment (USOS) were opened at ~7:40am, followed by activation and reconfiguration of the station-wide OPS LAN network and of the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control; System).  [The latter was returned from LTL (Low Temperature Loop) to MTL (Moderate TL), then from dual-loop to single-loop mode, with LTL setpoint restored to 11.1 degC. ]

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

With ground commanding, the IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) fans & valves were reconfigured from their decrewed configuration.

Still on a shifted sleep cycle after their very long (~22 hrs.) day, the crew then turned in at ~12:30 pm EST, ~4 hrs earlier than usual. Their wake/sleep rhythm will return to normal tomorrow, with wake-up at 1:00 am and sleep at 4:30 pm, after a light work day.

Shortly before Soyuz undocking, the U.S. P6 solar arrays 2B & 4B were feathered, for protection against Soyuz thruster plume contamination (2B: 205 deg; 4B: 155 deg). After docking, they were returned to Autotrack (i.e., Beta gimbals automatically tracking the sun), later biased (2B: 37.5 deg; 4B: -37.5 deg) for MBS IMCA (Mobile Base System/Integrated Motor Controller Assembly) shading.

For a short interval during undocking & redocking, station attitude was moded from XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) to undock attitude and inertial/free drift. After the relocation, ISS maneuvered back to XPOP, i.e. flying quasi-inertial sun-pointing, and control authority was returned to US momentum management at ~3:15am.

The U.S. SDMS (Structural Dynamics Measurement System) on the S1 truss was activated for about two hours to collect vibration data for the undocking/redocking activities. The recorded data are to be downlinked later today, starting at ~3:00pm.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked today.

To date, more than 186,000 of CEO images have been taken in the first five years of the ISS, almost one third of the total number of images taken from orbit by astronauts.

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

Full Size/Update

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 6:57am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 346.1 km
  • Apogee height 352.1 km
  • Perigee height — 340.1 km
  • Period — 91.46 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008906
  • Solar Beta Angle — -49.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 70 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 41918

Events Ahead (all dates subject to change)

  • 03/29/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S launch (Pavel Vinogradov/Russia, Jeffrey Williams/US, Marcos Pontes/Brazil, 9:30pm EST; 3/30, 6:30am Moscow; 3/30, 8:30am Baikonur)
  • 03/31/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S docking (FGB nadir port, 11:19pm EST; mnvr. to LVLH XVV after dock; 4/1, 8:19am Moscow)
  • 04/01/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S-ISS hatch opening ~12:30am EST
  • 04/08/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S-ISS hatch closing ~1:12pm EST
  • 04/09/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S undocking (4:15pm EDT) & land (7:40pm); (mnvr. to XPOP after undock)
  • 04/19/06 — SM main engine test/ISS reboost
  • 04/24/06 — Progress M-56/21P launch
  • 04/26/06 — Progress M-56/21P docking (SM aft port)
  • 06/19/06 — Progress M-55/20P undocking & reentry
  • 06/28/06 — Progress M-57/22P launch
  • 06/30/06 — Progress M-57/22P docking
  • 07/01/06 — 12A launch (under review)
  • 07/01/06 — ULF1.1 launch (NET, not earlier than)
  • 07/31/06 — Russian EVA-16 (under review)
  • 09/13/06 — Progress M-56/21P undocking & reentry
  • 09/14/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S launch
  • 09/16/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S docking (FGB nadir port)
  • 09/24/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S undocking & reentry
  • 10/08/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S relocation (FGB nadir port to DC1)
  • 10/18/06 — Progress M-58/23P launch
  • 10/20/06 — Progress M-5 <> 8/23P docking
  • 12/19/06 — Progress M-57/22P undocking & reentry
  • 12/20/06 — Progress M-59/24P launch
  • 12/22/06 — Progress M-59/24P docking
  • 02/06/07 — Progress M-59/24P undocking & reentry
  • 02/07/07 — Progress M-60/25P launch
  • 02/09/07 — Progress M-60/25P 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.