Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 December 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
January 3, 2006
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 December 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.

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

Yest kasaniye! Progress M-55 (20P) has docked flawlessly at the DC1 docking compartment s nadir port at 2:47pm EST, seven minutes earlier than originally planned in order to complete the approach well before orbital sunset (2:55pm). Hatch opening is expected at about 6:30pm.  [The entire process of fully automated rendezvous, closure, final approach and capture, followed by closing of soft hooks and “hard” latches, went without issues. The uncrewed cargo ship approached from forward and below for the period from 1 km into the beginning of flyaround to brief station keeping at 170 m at 2:44pm. Final approach began at ~2:38pm from directly below the ISS. Successful “kasaniye” (contact) was achieved at 2:47pm. “Sborka” (closing of Progress and SM hooks & latches) followed automatically shortly thereafter. For the docking, station attitude control was handed over to Russian MCS (motion control system) and thrusters at 11:45am, and ISS maneuvered to docking attitude at 12:52pm. During the docking, thrusters were disabled for a period of free drift; they then maneuvered the station to XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane), followed by return of attitude control authority to the U.S. CMGs (control moment gyros) later today at ~3:55pm. Loads induced on the ISS structure by the docking were measured with the U.S. SDMS (Structural Dynamic Measurement System) on the S-Zero truss. Uplinked PPL (pre-positioned load) files controlled the automated data taking, starting at ~2:00pm and continuing for about two hours. The SDMS data will be downlinked later tonight. ]

Crew wakeup today was slipped by one hour to 2:00am EST, followed by breakfast at ~2:40am and a relatively short day, because of the docking. Sleep period began at 9:37am, lasting until second awakening at ~12:30pm.

During the short day preceding docking, CDR/SO McArthur and FE Tokarev completed final preparations for the Progress arrival, starting with KUBIK-AMBER incubator activation at a +22 degC setting in thermostatic mode for PromISS (Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope) samples arriving on 20P.

Also for arriving new experiments, Tokarev activated the TBU thermostat, equipped with the APT self-contained temperature logger, for receiving the GCF-JAXA (Granada Crystallization Facility for Japan) payload for protein crystal growth studies in zero-G.

A third temperature-controlled container, the Russian Cryogem-03M in the DC1, was also powered up at +20 degC in preparation for 20P samples.

In the Service Module (SM), Valery Tokarev turned off the Sputnik-SM Kenwood D700 amateur radio station to prevent any interference with Progress/KURS radio traffic.

In the FGB, Bill McArthur activated the SSC6 (Station Support Computer 6) A31p laptop, set up to handle the video transmission from the Russian segment (RS) via the Ku-band equipment in the US segment (USOS).  [The A31p used for the routing from the SM is located in the FGB since available cables are not long enough to extend to the Node. The video signal is fed from there via coaxial cable to the SSC Operations LAN (local area network) and from there into the Ku-band system for subsequent conversion from the Russian SECAM format to the American NTSC format on the ground.]

At ~12:55pm, Flight Controllers finalized the ground configuration of the 20P docking video linkage, to transmit the US External Camera view via VITS (Video Teleconferencing System) to the nominal MCC/Houston-to-TsUP/Moscow connection path involving the ESA Gateway and the IGS (Integrated Ground System).

The CDR completed the standard weekly maintenance on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization) in the SM, primarily checking the condition of the SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices) and recording time & date values.

Afterwards, Bill performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU), as well as the weekly inspection of the BRPK air/liquid condensate separator apparatus. From his discretionary job jar task list, he also updated/edited the standard IMS (Inventory Management System) delta file , including locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

At ~4:45am EST, the FE conducted the weekly IMS (Inventory Management System) tagup with specialists at TsUP/Moscow, discussing open issues concerning identification of equipment and storage locations for the IMS databases via S-band.  [Today s topics concerned a Vozdukh emergency vacuum valve located by Valery in a bag, the loading of Progress-54, etc.]

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 3 of the first set).]

Afterwards, McArthur 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.

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo target, in the current (pre-docking) LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, was Central Chile (Dynamic event. Suggested were panoramas looking south, to portray the coastline and Andean mountain chain. Cloud conditions may have allowed panoramas looking north as well).

To date, over 177,000 of CEO 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, 10:59am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 349.4 km
  • Apogee height — 356.7 km
  • Perigee height — 342.1 km
  • Period — 91.53 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010866
  • Solar Beta Angle — 27.2 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 107 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40550

For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

Upcoming Events (all dates Eastern):

  • 01/09/06 — 100 days for Expedition 12
  • 02/02/06 — Russian EVA-15
  • 03/03/06 — Progress M-54/19P undocking & reentry
  • 03/22/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S launch (Exp. 13 + Marcus Pontes/Brazil)
  • 03/24/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S docking (DC1)
  • 04/01/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S undocking & return (Exp. 12 + Marcus Pontes)
  • 04/06/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S relocation (DC1 to FGB nadir port)
  • 04/09/06 — Progress M-55/20P undocking & reentry
  • 04/10/06 — Progress M-56/21P launch
  • 04/12/06 — Progress M-56/21P docking.

Happy Holidays to All!

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.