Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 April 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
April 21, 2005
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 April 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. Day 5 of joint Exp.10/Exp.11 operations. Day 190 in space for Exp. 10 (188 aboard ISS), with 5 days to go.

After wake-up at 2:30am EDT (half an hour later than usual), both crews went to work on another ambitious schedule of ISS-10-to-ISS-11 handovers (Russian acronym: RPS), which continue to go well. [As of yesterday evening, both crews have added several more hours of dedicated handover and functional handover (joint walk-throughs on specific tasks), with Krikalev now racking up 8h 35m functional, 2 h dedicated, and Phillips 9h functional, 3h 40m dedicated.]

FE-10 Sharipov completed the last-day ops of his current Russian MBI-2 Diurez (“Diuresis”) experiment, with samples placed in the Cryogem cooler. After the session, Salizhan took air samples for ammonia with the IPD instrument. [MBI-2 today featured the end of urine sampling and added collection of capillary blood specimen for red blood cell mass (hematocrit) determination (per MO-10 procedure) and venous blood samples, followed by centrifugation (per MBI-7 BIOTEST protocol). Diurez was then closed out and the samples stowed later in the Soyuz TMA-5/9S Descent Module (BO).]

FE/SO-11 John Phillips set up the ADUM (Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Micro-G) equipment, including video and electronic still cameras, and later performed the last cardiac /thoracic (Scan A) investigation, with CDR-10 Chiao as subject. Due to the Ku-band comm pattern at the time, the session was split into three different parts. [With Leroy strapped down on the CMRS (crew medical restraint system) and wearing electrodes for ECG (electrocardiogram) recording, John performed the ultrasound scans, assisted by the subject (which is not normally allowed, to simulate incapacitation, but was OK today due to the nature of the short scans). Afterwards the hardware was deactivated and the scan heads were cleaned and stowed. For the session, the ground activated the ER2 HRF (EXPRESS Rack 2/Human Research Facility), while Phillips powered up the HRF computer and cleaned off the ADUM hard drive. The data were downlinked in real time and the scanning and post-scan activities were recorded with the PD100 on mini DVCAM tapes and still-photographed with the DCS 760 for later downlink.]

Chiao and Phillips also continued their work in the US Airlock (A/L), today resizing two EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units, #3011 & #3005) with those components that are slated for return to Houston, to ensure that suit hardware designated to stay on ISS (one EMU) will not be returned by mistake. Afterwards, Leroy restowed the A/L with the equipment that was temporarily removed on 4/19. [“Quest” A/L is now again available for EVA use.]

After yesterday’s successful re-certification of the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), John Phillips today conducted an inspection of its recompression valve (which did not require powering up the MSG rack).

Soyuz Crew: ‘Phone Home’
“Soyuz crews have been provided with a Iridium/Motorola-9505 satellite phone and a Garmin GPSMAP 76 handheld GPS unit. Both units have the ability to function anywhere on Earth.”

In preparation for the return on 4/24 (and as part of handover ops), FE-10 Sharipov and CDR-11 Krikalev retrieved the Motorola-9505 Iridium satellite phone from its location in the Soyuz TMA-5 descent module (DM) and initiated the monthly recharging of its lithium-ion battery, a 30-min. process. The charging was monitored every 10-15 minutes as it took place, and upon completion Sergei returned the phone inside its SSSP Iridium kit and stowed it back in the DMs operational data files (ODF) container. [The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry and landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown. The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by Safety officials with an NCR (Non-Compliance Report) valid for the particular satphone in question, i.e., for the remainder of this Increment, which no longer requires double-containing the phone in two CTBs (crew transfer bags) for recharging its lithium-ion battery. During the procedure, the phone is left in its fluoroplastic bag with open flap.]

Salizhan conducted the periodic (currently daily) checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various Russian segment (RS) hatchways, including the SM-to-Soyuz tunnel, and the FGB-to-Node passageway. [This is especially important when the ventilation/circulation system has to cope with a large crew on board.]

Sharipov also collected the monthly sensor readings of the “Pille-MKS” radiation dosimetry experiment, with its ten sensors placed at various locations in the Russian segment (port cabin window, starboard cabin window, ASU toilet facility, control panel, etc.). He then replaced its memory storage/Flash card from the console with a new one, stowing the old one for return to the ground on 9S.

Sergei Krikalev used the ART (automatic temperature recorder) to conduct a temperature check on the BIO-12 “Regeneration” experiment, which studies how zero gravity impacts structural and functional recovery of damaged organs and tissues in Planaria (water flatworms).

VC8 guest cosmonaut Roberto Vittori continued his busy schedule of experiments of the “Eneide” science program. [Today, Vittori worked on GOAL/Garments from New Fabrics for Orbital Activities (demo of a T-shirt, photo imagery, closeout), CRISP-2/Crickets in Space (opening the KUBIK-AMBER lid for air exchange), LAZIO (experiment ops with mask, photo imagery, PCMCIA card replacement, EGLE magnetometer ops), AGROSPACE/Beans-Seedlings (photo imagery, data downlink), ESD/Electrostatic Attraction Demo (exp. ops., video imagery, closeout), FTS/Food Tasting in Space (lunch, log entries), VSV/Visceral Receptor Input to Subjective Vertical Perception (exp. ops. in Chibis/ODNT suit with Krikalev assist, data logging, closeout), MOP/Motion Perception (filling out questionnaire), and E-NOSE/Electronic “Nose” (deactivate hardware, relocate, activate for Session-2).]

FE-VC8 Vittori, assisted by Sergei, also took extensive photo/video imagery of the crews, the cabin interior (e.g., Italian flag, facilities) and various zero-G activities (“flying”, water bubbles, tumbling). Also, working off his discretionary “job jar” task list, Roberto again used his Nikon D1X digital camera for shooting pictures of his home country, for which two overflight opportunities were uplinked.

The crews conducted a joint teleconference with the ground to discuss LF-1 prepacking via audio/S-band. Later, Chiao and Phillips worked about an hour on readying return cargo for the Shuttle.

Krikalev and Phillips spent study time on an overview of CMS (Crew Medical Systems) equipment aboard the station. [The review covered identification, stowage location and explanatory notes of physical exercise accessories, exercise prescriptions, and detailed instructions for using the TVIS treadmill, RED resistive exerciser, CEVIS cycle ergometer, and HRM heart rate monitor.]

The crew members conducted their current physical exercise program on TVIS, CEVIS, RED exerciser, and VELO cycle with bungee cord load trainer. Leroy then transferred the daily 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, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium.

Salizhan did the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system, including its ASU toilet system, while Leroy prepared the regular IMS (inventory management system) delta file for export/import to the IMS databases.

At 9:00am EDT, the joint crews downlinked a message of greetings and congratulations addressed to the Russian Veterans of the Great Patriotic War (WWII) on the 60th Anniversary of Victory Day. [The 60th Anniversary will be celebrated on 4/26 at a gala attended by Anatoly Perminov, chief of Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roskosmos ( “A major milestone of WWII, the meeting of the Allied Forces, Soviet and American, on the Elbe river, is in a way repeated again in space…”).]

At 10:35am, Vittori conducted his daily 10-min tagup with ESA Ops personnel via audio/S-band.

Later, at 2:58pm, Roberto supported another live TV downlink with the Italian “La Sette” TV program (Flavia Fratello) at “La 7” studio in Rome, with Sergei Krikalev acting as camera operator.

A second live TV interview is scheduled for Vittori and Krikalev at 4:10pm with Sky TV in Rome (Luigi Ecuba, Capt. Paola Verde [possibly the next Italian astronaut and first woman astronaut from Italy]).

The five-member crew will also engage in another live TV exchange with two US media at 3:25pm, today Associated Press/Marcia Dunn and Houston Chronicle/Mark Carreau).

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

Elektron Status: As reported yesterday, the Elektron was shut down on 3/19 evening due to increasing voltage in the BZh electrolyzer. According to Moscow this morning, the problem appears to be the nitrogen (N2) pressure in the capsule. ppO2 (oxygen partial pressure) this morning was at ~160 mmHg, good for probably two more days. Options include replacing Liquid Unit (BZh) #5 with Liquid Unit #6 and reactivating the Elektron. Backup plan is to transfer O2 from 17P. [The lower Flight Rule limit for ppO2 is 152 mm Hg (with error band).]

SKV Status: As reported yesterday, both Russian air conditioners are currently failed, with the probable cause traced to their condensate pump. Plans are to continue relying on USOS assets (Lab CCAA) and have the crew performing test and repair work after 9S departure.

Soyuz-215/9S Status: The backup/reserve battery of the Soyuz 9S vehicle is known to be degraded, with some unquantifiable charge remaining. TsUP/Moscow is considering a modified return/descent plan by reducing the time between undocking and landing, requiring lower-than-nominal battery capacity to reduce reliance on the reserve battery. This would involve switching to spacecraft internal power at undocking (not some time before as usual) and landing on the first orbit, but keeping the backup battery online during the descent, as done normally, with software enabled to activate the reserve battery automatically if required.

CMG Status: Yesterday CMG-3 (Control Moment Gyroscope #3) experienced an unexpected vibration spike (<0.1 deg/sec) and spin motor command current elevation during the planned GNC MDM (Guidance, Navigation & Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexer) software patch upload that functionally enabled "checkpointing". The motor instability event (which may have been unrelated) is not understood at this time and is under investigation. [Checkpointing is a software feature in which the primary GNC MDM computer transfers data to the backup GNC MDM every 10 seconds. If a primary GNC MDM failure occurs, the software will enable the backup GNC MDM to smoothly transition to (i.e., become) the primary GNC MDM without handing attitude control over to the Russian segment thrusters.]

As Moscow reported this morning, Progress 17 undocking has been postponed to June 16 (from 6/9), with launch of 18P now set at 6/17 (from 6/10).

Testing by TsUP continues on the Russian ASN-M satellite navigation system in the SM for the European ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle).

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 10 crew visit:

Expedition 10 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, 10:43am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 354.9 km
  • Apogee height — 360.0 km
  • Perigee height — 349.8 km
  • Period — 91.64 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0007512
  • Solar Beta Angle — 20.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 85 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 36678

Expedition 10 Flight Timelines:

  • Soyuz 9S (Expedition 10+1; Leroy Chiao, Salizhan Sharipov, Roberto Vittori):
  • Undocking from FGB — 4/24 (Sun.), 2:44pm EDT;
  • Sep Burn #1 (manual) — 2:50pm;
  • Deorbiting Burn — 5:24pm (4 min 23 sec, delta-V 115.2 m/s);
  • Module Sep — 5:49pm;
  • Atmospheric Entry — 5:50pm;
  • Landing in darkness — 4/24 (Sun.) 6:09pm EDT; 3:09am (4/25) local Kustanai/Kazakhstan;
  • Sunrise at Kustanai landing site — 5:16am. [Note: Kazakhstan remains on Standard Time; thus: local time = GMT+5].

Return to Flight:

  • LF-1 (STS-114)/Increment 11 SORR (Stage Operations Readiness Review) —
  • 4/22 (Fri) at JSC;
  • LF1 (STS-114)/Discovery launch windows (all times EDT), for FD3 docking:
  • 5/22: 1:03 – 1:08pm;
  • 5/23: 12:36 – 12:46pm;
  • 5/24: 12:15 – 12:20pm
  • etc.

Note: For the May/June launch period, the daily 10-minute planar launch window (i.e., in ISS orbit plane) starts an average 23 minutes earlier each day, extends into early June and closes due to current constraints of Daylight Launch (6/7) or ET umbilical photo opportunity (6/3). Figures are approximate. There are additional opportunities for docking on FD4 (Flight Day 4), not planned. <<<

Other Upcoming Main Events:

  • Progress M-52 (17P) undock — 6/16.
  • Progress M-53 (18P) launch — 6/17;
  • ULF1.1 (STS-121) launch — NET 7/12;
  • Progress M-54 (19P) launch — 8/24;
  • Soyuz TMA-7 (11S) launch — 9/27.

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.