Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 July 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
July 24, 2005
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 July 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.   Today 36 years ago, Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, and Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on another celestial body: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed!”

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

CDR Krikalev made preparations for his first experiment session with the Russian/German Plasma Crystal-3 (PK-3) payload, planned to start tomorrow. Today’s preps consisted of setting up the hardware, activating the evacuation turbopump and checking for leaks before starting the evacuation of the vent lines and vacuum chamber (ZB).  The activity was supported by tagup with ground specialists.   [The experiment will be performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles, charged and excited by RF/radio frequency power, inside the evacuated work chamber where they are studied in various modes and with various RF-discharge power levels, pressures, and quantities of particles.  The experiment will run in automated mode.  Main objective is to study dust plasma crystallization processes at a specified power of HF (high frequency) discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles with subsequent reduction of HF discharge power, then to observe melting of the structures formed earlier.]

Later in the day, Krikalev supported a live television session with Plasma Crystal-3 personnel assembled at TsUP/Moscow, on the occasion of tomorrow’s 60th birthday of Professor Greg Morfill, one of the founders of the Plasma Crystal experiment.   [During the TV session, Sergei showed the Telescience hardware of the experiment, using the station as a backdrop, and discussed about today’s preparations for the final PK-3/Nefelov session.]

Using a new procedure developed by the ground, FE/SO Phillips worked on restoring SSC-8 (Station Support Computer #8) as a usable client, while retaining the crew’s CPSD (Crew Personal Support Disk) functionality. [John removed the hard-drive (HDD) of SSC-8 and installing it into the current CPSD laptop.  With the Ultrabay of the latter not working properly, its CPSD HDD was moved to SSC-4.  The new SSC-8 has a CD/DVD and Floppy drives to facilitate future reloads.]

The FE worked on the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) in the Lab, drawing standard samples of coolant fluid from its MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) for return to Earth and analysis.  [The coolant fluid was tested with test strips for ammonia (NH3), but the sample is not intended for return to the ground, since a sample will be obtained during LF-1 by removal and return of a small TCS Jumper. The checkup, to test for an IFHX (Interface Heat Exchanger) ammonia microleak, measured 0.25 ppm NH3.  A microleak would be declared if the ammonia strip levels are 3 ppm or higher.]

Sergei Krikalev worked in the FGB to install a closeout cover at panel 406. [The cover is a newly delivered swatch of imitation leather, 580 x 290 inches in size, fastened with Velcro around its backside surface.]

Science Officer Phillips performed the scheduled lens change on the EarthKAM system at the Lab science window, going from 50mm to the 180mm-lens configuration.   [EarthKAM was activated yesterday.  The payload runs without crew intervention.  EK is using a Kodak ESC 460C electronic still camera with 50mm (f/1.4) lens, now powered by 16Vdc from a 28 Vdc adapter, taking pictures by remote operation from the ground, without crew interaction.  It is available for students who submit image requests and conduct geographic research.  The requests are uplinked in a camera control file to the IBM 760XD SSC laptop which then activates the camera at specified times and receives the digital images from the camera’s storage card on its hard drive, for subsequent downlink via OpsLAN.]

The CDR did the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU), and he prepared the IMS (inventory management system) “delta” file for automated export/import top the three IMS databases.

Sergei also took an inventory of the port crew quarters in the SM, filling out an uplinked table and recorded updates in the IMS, for subsequent downlink via OCA or Regul-Packet.

Phillips worked a revised stowage consolidation plan of Russian items in the U.S. segment (USOS), in the interest of gaining additional, though not much, stowage space.   [Ground specialists have been busy developing feasible stowage plans for LF-1 and ULF1.1, and are finding future stowage very limited.  Today’s procedure will help gain needed space to make the stowage plans work.]

Both crewmembers conducted their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on the TVIS treadmill, RED resistive machine and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer.   [Sergei’s daily protocol prescribes a strict four-day microcycle exercise with 1.5 hr on the treadmill and one hour on VELO plus load trainer (today: Day 3 of a new set).]

Afterwards, John 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).

Later, John completed the weekly TVIS maintenance in the current SLD (subject loading device) contingency configuration, primarily checking the condition of the SPDs (subject positioning devices) and recording time & date values.

The FE also performed the periodic once-per-month inspection of the RED with canister cords and accessory straps as well as the canister bolts for re-tightening if required.

Phillips filled out the regular weekly FFQ (food frequency questionnaire), his twelfth, which keeps a log of his nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. 

Working off his voluntary “time available” task list, Sergei had another session with the “Uragan” (hurricane) earth-imaging program, focusing the Nikon D1X digital camera with f400 or 800 mm lens from an SM window on targets specified by an uplinked list.  [Today’s targets included the Baikal Perimeter Railway, a unique engineering feat of the 20th Century connecting the village of Sliudianka at the extreme west of Lake Baikal to Port of Baikal at Angara outlet; townships in Buriatiya: Nerchinsk, Shilka, Sretensk, etc., the Amur River, townships (e.g., city of Svobodny, etc.) and logging areas in Khabarovsk Territory, images of the Sakhalin Island coast, railway and road between Tuapse and Kurinskaya, the sea side of Volga Delta, infrastructure of Astrakhan Gas Condensate Facility, etc.]

John conducted a search for a missing CWC (collapsible water container) water sampling adapter. 

Today’s CEO (crew earth observations) photo targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Kabul, Afghanistan (weather was predicted to be clear over Kabul.  Overlapping nadir frames that tracked across the urban-rural fringe (SW to NE) are useful for monitoring urban growth and redevelopment), Muglad Basin fans, SW Sudan (this nadir pass took the crew over the western Muglad basin.  Looking for convoluted drainage patterns and wetland boundaries – overlapping frames of these areas will help delineate separate megafans within the basin), Shortgrass Steppe, Colorado (overlapping nadir frames along track (SW to NE) are desired for mapping of land cover in this LTER (Long Term Ecological Research) site.  Investigation of relationships between vegetation type and landscape character [geology, microclimate, and land use] is of particular interest), and Andrews Forest, Washington (this pass tracked over the central portion of this LTER site. Overlapping frames along track (SW to NE) are useful for mapping canopy cover and distribution of streams.  A major focus of this LTER site is the relationship between forest dynamics and hydrology).

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 11 crew visit:

Expedition 11 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
Real Time ISS TrackerMore Links

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 6:08am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 353.6 km
  • Apogee height — 355.8 km
  • Perigee height — 351.4 km
  • Period — 91.61 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0003269
  • Solar Beta Angle — -11.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 100 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 37950

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.