Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 September 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
September 21, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 September 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.

A looong day aboard ISS: After crew wakeup at 10:00pm EDT last night, sleep time for all is at 2:30pm (until 12:00am).

Early this morning, Soyuz TMA-9/13S docked smoothly at the Service Module (SM) aft port – three minutes ahead of time (1:21am EDT), carrying Expedition 14 crewmembers CDR Michael (“L.A.”) Lopez-Alegria and FE-1 Mikhail (“Misha”) Tyurin plus American “taxi cosmonaut” Anousheh Ansari. After about three hours spent in Soyuz on pre-transfer activities, the crew opened hatches at 4:33am, followed by crew transfer, a joyful welcome event, and installation of the BZV QD (quick disconnect) clamps by Vinogradov and Tyurin. [After successful “kasaniye” (contact), automatic “sborka” (closing of Soyuz & SM port hooks & latches) took place shortly thereafter. For the 13S docking, the Russian SM thrusters were disabled during Soyuz volume pressurization & clamp installation and returned to active attitude control after sborka. Before hatch opening, the crew performed leak checks of the Soyuz modules and the Soyuz/ISS interface vestibule, doffed their Sokol suits and set them up for drying, then deactivated the Atmosphere Purification Unit (BOA) in the Descent Module (SA), replaced the Soyuz ECLSS LiOH cartridges, equalized Soyuz/ISS pressures, and put the spacecraft into conservation mode on ISS integrated power.]

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

After the arrival and crew greetings (see picture below), which were videoed down from the Russian segment (RS) via RGS (Russian Ground Site) and TsUP/Moscow, CDR Vinogradov reestablished nominal comm configuration (STTS) in hardline mode (MBS). FE-1/14 Tyurin (who has served on the ISS before, on Expedition 3 in 2001 with Frank Culbertson and Vladimir Dezhurov), immediately began with cargo transfers from Soyuz to ISS, based on an uplinked tally sheet listing 159 items. [Cargo remaining in the Soyuz BO for stowage includes three kits with personal items for SFP (Spaceflight Participant) Anousheh Ansari, including clothing, photo & PDA equipment, batteries, souvenirs, postcards, commemorative items, hygiene & toiletry items, patches, etc., later to be transferred to TMA-8/12S for return.]

High-priority transfers for the E-13/E-14 crew rotation period involved the LEUKIN, LEU-L and LEU-M containers and YING/BASE kits, chaperoned by FE-2 Reiter. Vinogradov transferred and stowed REGENERATSIYA hardware, while Tyurin transferred KONYUGATSIYA in its Biokont-T container and Rekomb-K hardware to the Cryogem-03M cooler in the DC1, then closed out BIOEMULSIYA operations in the BO and set up the payload in the SM instead:

  • YING (Yeast in No Gravity), an ESA/Belgian experiment, studies the influence of microgravity on cellular adhesion, biofilm formation and invasive growth in yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a model for Eukaryotes).
  • BASE (Bacterial Acclimation and Adaptation to the Space Environment), also from ESA/Belgium, is about the effect of micro-G on bacteria and how bacteria adapt to the micro-G environment on ISS (data provided by this investigation will give scientists valuable insight into how basic organisms adapt to new environments, which could prove valuable when planning future long duration expeditions to the Moon and Mars).
  • LEUKIN, an ESA/Swiss experiment, researches the observed inhibitive effects of space on the immune system by investigating the signal transduction pathway of the activation of T-lymphocytes (thymus-developed white blood cells, the “warriors” of the immune system) as well as the question if loss of Interleukin-2 receptor expression is the cause of activation inhibition (using microgravity as an inhibitor of activation).
  • REGENERATSIYA (Regeneration, BIO-12) researches the impacts of micro-G on structural and functional recovery of damaged organs and tissues in Planaria (water flatworms) in the Cryogem-3M cooler/glove box.
  • KONYUGATSIYA (Conjugation, BTKh-10) deals with the processes of genetic material transmission using bacterial conjugation, in the Biokont-T container, with the Rekomb-K hardware, in the Cryogem-03M.
  • BIOEMULSIYA (Bioemulsion, BTKh-14) investigates the design and improvement of a closed-type autonomous (thermostat-controlled) bioreactor for obtaining biomass of organisms and bioactive substance without additional ingredients input or removal of metabolism products.]

The new arrivals received the obligatory standard safety briefing that familiarized them with procedures and escape routes in case of an emergency.

Pavel also took Anousheh on a one-hour guided tour of the ISS, acquainting her with both segments, and assisted her in her first PMC (Private Medical Conference) via Russian VHF, email ops, and private family conference using the IP (Internet Protocol) phone.

Vinogradov and Mischa Tyurin swapped out Ansari’s IELK (Individual Equipment & Liner Kit, Russian: USIL) between the two Soyuz vehicles, TMA-8/12S & TMA-9/13S, including the tailored Sokol spacesuit after its dryout. Their own IELKs are already in the 12S spacecraft, which now becomes the Expedition 13 CRV (crew return vehicle), good for a maximum of 200 days in space. [A crewmember is not considered transferred until her/his IELK, AMP (Ambulatory Medical Pack) and ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack) drug kit are transferred. After today’s installation of the VC11 IELK, SFP Ansari is now considered a 12S crewmember, and Expedition 14 has technically begun its residence aboard ISS.]

The CDR also relocated the three Emergency SODF (Station Operations Data Files) books from the 13S spacecraft into the 12S vehicle, and Tyurin later transferred the new ISS EMER-1 SODF delivered on 13S to the ISS.

SFP Ansari began her first work on a laptop and (as Greg Olsen before her) made the first of her scheduled daily entries in the log/questionnaire for the LBP (Low Back Pain) Muscle experiment.

Thomas Reiter immediately started work on the LEUKIN payload, fixating a number of sample containers in the PGB (Portable Glovebox), then transferring them to the Cryogem-03M and KUBIK1,2 coolers.

Mikhail Tyurin spent some time on a training session with the CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2) hardware.

FE-1 Williams conducted the routine daily maintenance of the SOZh (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) system in the SM, including the ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables.

On the IMS (Inventory Management System), Jeff also updated/edited its standard “delta file”, including locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

Thomas Reiter completed the periodic checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various Russian segment hatchways, including the SM-to-DC1 (22P) tunnel, and the FGB-to-Node and SM-to-Soyuz passageways.

Working off his discretionary “time permitting” task list, Pavel performed the daily status check of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) Lada-8 experiment as well as photographic imagery of the experiment using the Nikon D1X digital camera with flash and copying all photos from the memory card to the RSK1 laptop for downlink to TsUP via the BSR-TM telemetry channel. [Rasteniya researches growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-8 greenhouse. The regular maintenance of the experiment (each Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) involves monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, topping off the water tank if ~20-25% of the total amount (4 liters) remains, and photo/video recording.]

Meanwhile, FE-1 Williams initiated and in the course of the day completed the dryout of the three 13S crew’s Sokol spacesuits, followed separately by the gloves.

The ground, by remote command, activated the A/L CCAA (Airlock Common Cabin Air Assembly) air conditioner and the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer).

Structural dynamics data taken during the docking by the external truss-mounted SDMS (Structural Dynamic Measurement System) and the internal MAMS (Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System) were downlinked to Earth, MAMS was switched to post-docking configuration, and FE-1 Williams disconnected ER-1 (EXPRESS Rack 1) from the Lab ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) at the RIP (Rack Interface Panel).

STS-115/Atlantis today was cleared for tomorrow’s reentry and landing (times see below).

Error correction: The On-Orbit Status reports of the last three days were inexplicably dated “07” instead of “06”. Sorry.

No CEO (crew earth observations) photo targets uplinked today.

To date, over 250,000 of CEO images have been taken in the first six years of the ISS, about one third of the total number of images taken from orbit by astronauts.

CEO photography can be viewed and studied at the websites: (about 700,000 NASA digital photographs of Earth are downloaded by the public each month from this “Gateway” site);

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:53am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 341.8 km
  • Apogee height — 349.6 km
  • Perigee height — 334.0 km
  • Period — 91.37 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0011661
  • Solar Beta Angle — -42.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.76
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 240 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 44820

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern and subject to change):

  • 09/21/06 — STS-115/12A EOM+1 (FD13) KSC landing (6:21am; 2nd opportunity: 7:57am); consumables allow EOM+3 days (i.e., till 9/23);
  • 09/20/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S docking (SM aft port, 1:24am)
  • 09/28/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S undocking (FGB nadir port, 5:48pm) & land (9:10pm) [Total duration: 182d 22h 39m 49s]
  • 10/08/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S relocation (SM aft port to FGB nadir port)
  • 10/18/06 — Progress M-58/23P launch
  • 10/20/06 — Progress M-58/23P docking (SM aft port)
  • 11/22/06 — Russian EVA-17
  • 12/14/06 — STS-116/12A.1 launch
  • 12/16-23/06 — STS-116/12A.1 docked mission w/ISS – P5 truss
  • 12/19/06 — Progress M-57/22P undocking (DC1) & reentry
  • 12/20/06 — Progress M-59/24P launch
  • 12/22/06 — Progress M-59/24P docking (DC1)
  • 01/22/07 — US EVA-6
  • 01/26/07 — US EVA-7
  • 01/31/07 — US EVA-8
  • 02/06/07 — Progress M-59/24P undocking (DC1) & reentry
  • 02/07/07 — Progress M-60/25P launch
  • 02/09/07 — Progress M-60/25P docking (DC1)
  • 02/22/07 — STS-117/13A launch – S3/S4 trusses
  • 02/24-03/03/07 — STS-117/13A docked mission w/ISS (earliest)
  • 03/08/07 — Progress M-58/23P undocking (SM aft port) & reentry
  • 03/09/07 — Soy <> uz TMA-10/14S launch (Expedition 15 + VC12)
  • 03/11/07 — Soyuz TMA-10/14S docking (SM aft port)
  • 03/19/07 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S undocking (FGB nadir port)
  • ??/??/07 — Soyuz TMA-10/14S relocation (SM aft port to FGB nadir port)
  • 06/11/07 — STS-118/13A.1

SpaceRef staff editor.