Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 January 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
January 23, 2006
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 January 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.  Saturday — off-duty day for Bill McArthur & Valery Tokarev, except for housekeeping and voluntary work. >>>Early this morning (~1:30am EST), ISS completed 41,000 orbits of Earth since launch of FGB/Zarya seven years (and 2 months) ago, having traveled a distance of 1.725 billion kilometers (1.08 billion miles) or ~8.5 times the average distance to Mars and back.<<<

The crew completed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning, wearing protective garment.  [“Uborka”, normally done every Saturday, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table, other surfaces and the FE’s sleep station with “Fungistat” disinfectant and cleaning fan screens to avoid temperature rises.]

For today s EPO (Educational Payloads Operations) session, his sixth, CDR McArthur video recorded a demo program of Up/Down (floor/ceiling) directions in zero-gravity.  [ These demonstrations will be a great resource for a wide audience. We have had a tremendous amount of positive feedback from a number of folks thus far. ]


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

The Science Officer also continued his work on the PromISS-4 (Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope #4) experiment, today changing out tape #10 on the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) video system.  [Tape exchanges vary due to record times throughout the 15 day running period of the experiment.]

FE Tokarev performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh).

Both crewmembers completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on the 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 4 of the first set).]

Afterwards, Bill 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).

At ~8:35am EST, the crew held their regular weekly planning conference (WPC) with the ground, discussing this week’s “Look-Ahead Plan” (prepared jointly by MCC-H and TsUP/Moscow timeliners), via S-band/audio, reviewing upcoming activities and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

With CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels comfortably back down, the CDR deactivated the U.S. CDRA (CO2 Removal Assembly) in the Lab.

Yesterday s reactivation of the Elektron O2 (oxygen) generator was successful.  [The electrolysis machine was powered up on 1/20 in the 24 amp mode, then moded to 20 amp performance. An atmospheric re-pressurization with Progress 19 oxygen was also performed yesterday, at 8:00am EST, raising atmospheric pressure by ~5 mmHg. ppO2 (O2 partial pressure) levels remain within Flight Rule limits. CDMK (CO2 Monitor Kit) readings on Thursday night had indicated 0.24 mmHg in the Lab and 0.25 mmHg in the Service Module (SM); yesterday, the U.S. MCA (Major Constituent Analyzer) indicated CO2 at 1.9 mmHg and the SM (GA) Gas Analyzer read 1.8 mmHg. Teams are continuing to assess the data to determine a forward plan for atmosphere and hardware management.]

The ground-commanded BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test) activity is continuing, taking time-lapse flash photography of BCAT sample 6 at the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) via EarthKAM camera and SSC-7 laptop. Later in the day, Bill McArthur conducted a check of the alignment and focus of the camera on the sample and position of flash. The imaging is to continue until 1/26.

Working off his discretionary time available task list, Tokarev performed the regular temperature check on the BIO-11 Statokonia payload with the ULITKA ( snail ) incubator with the ART (automated temperature logger), set up in the SM with new material delivered on 20P.  [BIO-11 studies the composition of statoconia, i.e., the organ of equilibrium in snails, and other phenomena exhibited by ulitka in zero-G and post-flight.]

Valery also checked the operation of the Japanese experiment GCF-JAXA (Granada Crystallization Facility) in the Russian TBU incubator, maintained at 20 degC, including a temperature check on its ART (automatic temperature recorder).  [This daily monitoring/temp checking, carried on the Russian voluntary “time available” task list, will continue until 4/30.]

A third job on Tokarev s task list is the long-term recurring task of imaging the externally mounted PKZ-1V Kromka 1-3 contamination experiment tablet.  [The Kromka tablet, deployed on handrail 2614 of the DC-1 “Pirs” docking compartment, collects thruster plume effluents. The pictures, two-three close-ups and one-two general views, are taken with the Kodak 760 DSC from the EVA hatch 1 (VL1) “illyuminator” (window) in the DC-1.]

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Twelve — 15th)

Human Research Facility/Gas Analyzer System for Metabolic Analysis Physiology (HRF GASMAP): All GASMAP systems were nominal during the functional check this week.

Human Research Facility/Workstation (HRF WS): Complete.

Advanced Ultrasound (ADUM):  The HRF Ultrasound team has requested a quick continuity check of the ECG (electrocardiogram) cable, using the station s Multimeter, after further investigating the flat line reported by the Science Officer during the checkout in October. The cable check may be placed on Bill s job jar task list.

Pulmonary Function System (PFS): Complete.

Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD):  Complete.

Renal Stone (RS): The Renal Stone team has received both the documentary and pill pallet photos.  All the photos turned out very well and will undoubtedly prove useful. Many thanks to the crew for doing such an excellent job.

Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight (FOOT):  This week s FOOT session was postponed in favor of PromISS. The Science Officer was assured that everything is being done on the ground to reschedule his remaining three data collections.

Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS): Complete.

Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS): Complete.

Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3 (BCAT-3): Recent data from the BCAT-3 Critical Point Experiment is indicating that the present theory for the critical behavior of fluids (which was awarded the Nobel Prize) is at best incomplete when applied to this important class of samples. When astronauts on the ISS recently combined their experiment setup and photography skills with the movie capabilities of EK (EarthKAM), this enabled scientists to use a remote controlled computer to photographically track the evolution of the BCAT-3 critical point samples. When the masking effects of gravity are removed, the rate of separation of the BCAT-3 critical point samples into two phases seems to deviate from accepted theory (power law scaling); instead, these samples show an unexpected behavior (exponential scaling). Because this behavior is so unexpected, researchers will be pursuing additional movies of all the critical point samples to unambiguously confirm this unexpected discovery. One could also make the case for sending up additional samples in the future to more fully explore this behavior under a wider range of conditions; such critical measurements cannot be made in the presence of gravity on Earth.

Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE): In progress. New MISSE-5 “suitcase” deployed and unfolded during LF-1 EVA outside on the U.S. Airlock.

Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM): Planned for February.

Cellular Biotechnology Support Systems-Fluid Dynamics Investigation (CBOSS-FDI): In progress.

Serial Network Flow Monitor (SNFM): Complete.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO):  Bill: We are looking forward to the Floor/ Ceiling EPO demonstration on Saturday. Thank you again for all of your efforts. These demonstrations will be a great resource for a wide audience. We have had a tremendous amount of positive feedback from a number of folks thus far.

Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope (PromISS):  Ops were initiated with Kit 2 this week. Thanks to the crew for their dedication.

Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions (InSPACE): Planned.

Crew Earth Observation (CEO):  Through 1/7/2006 the ground has received a total of 7,848 of downlinked CEO images. Investigators are extremely pleased with recent long-lens views of the Muglad Basin fans with their fine detail and overlap for mapping. The crew also acquired some excellent context views of the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney. An interesting view of Ciudad Guayana in northeastern Venezuela will be posted on NASA/GSFC s Earth Observatory website this weekend. It depicts this rapidly growing industrial area situated at the confluence of the Orinoco and Caroni Rivers.

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Torino, Italy (Dynamic Event. This city [historically known as Turin] will host the Winter Olympics next month. This pass provided an opportunity to obtain general context imagery of the region. The city was located to the right of track and southeast of the Alps. The lighting conditions may also have highlighted smog banked up along the southeastern face of the Alps), and Philadelphia, PA (Dynamic Event. The city has just celebrated the 300th birthday of Benjamin Franklin. A general contextual view of the urban area was desired during this nadir overpass).

Over 177,000 of CEO (Crew Earth Observation) 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, 3:07am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 347.1 km
  • Apogee height — 353.9 km
  • Perigee height — 340.2 km
  • Period — 91.48 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010225
  • Solar Beta Angle — -69.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 52 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40001

Events Ahead (all dates Eastern; tentative):

  • 02/03/06 — Russian EVA-15
  • 02/11/06 — ISS Reboost Test (in MMOD avoidance mode)
  • 03/03/06 — Progress M-54/19P undocking & reentry
  • 03/30/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S launch (Exp. 13 + Marcus Pontes/Brazil)
  • 04/01/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S docking (DC1)
  • 04/24/06 — Progress M-56/21P launch
  • 04/26/06 — Progress M-56/21P docking
  • 06/19/06 — Progress M-55/20P undocking & reentry

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.