Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 September 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
September 25, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 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. Day 4 of joint E13/E14 operations. Saturday, but not quite a rest day…

The E13/E14 crew rotation/handover period continues, with another full activity schedule today for all six station residents. Crew wakeup was at 12:00am EDT; sleep time will be at 2:30pm (to 11:00am, i.e., shifted an hour earlier).

CDR-13 Vinogradov terminated his second 24-hr session with the ESA/Russian IMMUNO biomed experiment, today finishing urine collection and placing the specimens in the Cryogem-03M cooler, then closing down. [IMMUNO is a 24-hr. test of human immune system changes, with the objective to investigate immune neuro-endocrine reactions in the space environment by studying samples of saliva, blood and urine using collection kits and the biomedical (MBI) protection kit. Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject and based on the accompanying MO-3 stress test, performed on the treadmill. Pavel took his first IMMUNO session on 8/17; today’s was the end of his second (and last).]

Today’s handovers were generally “generic”, i.e., crewmembers were scheduled together to complete various designated standard tasks.

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

Working several hours on the Elektron oxygen (O2) generator, Pasha Vinogradov and Misha Tyurin removed the failed Liquid Unit (BZh-8) and replaced it with a spare (BZh-9). The new unit was reconnected to the de-ionized water container (KOV) and afterwards pressurized with nitrogen (N2). The major IFM (In-flight Maintenance) task was supported by ground specialist tagup. [The plan is to restart Elektron on 9/26 (Tuesday) in automatic mode while over RGS (Russian Ground Sites) to allow the ground to monitor system parameters as the crew monitors the secondary purification unit (BD) external temperature for the first 10 minutes of operation to ensure that there is no overheating. The most probable cause for the overheating event on 9/19 appears to be due to a failure of the membrane in the hydrogen (H2) separator, allowing H2 to bleed into the water/electrolyte (KOH) lines. The buffer tank was “squeezed” in between startup attempts (the standard procedure when it is suspected that there is gas at the pump inlets), which pushed additional amounts of H2 into the water/electrolyte lines. The quantity of H2 that built up in the system was subsequently passed on to the O2 line during Elektron startup. When this increased amount of H2 reached the BD, it caused a significant rise in temperature. During nominal operations a gas analyzer is utilized to detect H2 in the O2 line but is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup.]

After turning off the centrifuge and temperature control of the KUBIK 1 & 2 incubators, FE-2 Thomas Reiter disassembled the two coolers, packed them in their pouches and stowed them in the FGB.

Reiter also recorded video footage with the Russian Klest KL-154 TV camera for an assessment of the current state of the camera’s CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) matrix, then transferred the footage to the Russian LIV experimental video complex (VR) for subsequent downlinking to Earth, scheduled tomorrow.

In preparation of the E14 spacewalks ahead (and for handover purposes), FE-1 Jeffrey Williams worked with CDR-14 Mike Lopez-Alegria in the U.S. Airlock (A/L) on EVA activities. [These included starting and terminating the scrubbing of the cooling loops of EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units) #3006 &# 3008 (#3015 to follow tomorrow), configuring cooling loop connections, starting charging on EMU batteries #2059 & #2060, to be terminated tomorrow, initiating regeneration on EMU METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters, and conducting US EVA tool stowage ops. Also planned for tomorrow is EMU resizing for the E14 crew.]

Williams today completed unpacking and stowage of the cargo that was delivered on Flight 12A.

In addition, Jeff worked with the IMS (Inventory Management System) on clothing consolidation, cleaning out all E13 personal clothing items for their return on 12A/1 in December.

Thomas Reiter 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 larger crew on board, currently six persons.]

Misha Tyurin completed the routine daily maintenance of the SOZh (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) system in the Service Module (SM), including the ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables.

Thomas did the daily updating/editing of the 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).

Working on her Russian laptop, Spaceflight Participant (SFP) Anousheh Ansari made the fourth of her scheduled daily entries in the log/questionnaire for the LBP (Low Back Pain) “Muscle” experiment. [Lower back pain has often been reported by astronauts in the weightless conditions of space, despite the fact that the spinal vertebrae are not compressed in micro-G as in gravity (thereby causing back pain). Thus, lower back pain could indeed develop without compression of the vertebrae from the deep muscle “corset” that is required to keep the lower part of the vertebrae, the sacral bone, in position between the two hipbones as the spine lengthens in zero-G.]

Ansari conducted her daily SAMPLE experiment sampling, which looks for bacteria onboard the station. Tyurin later secured the specimen in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [Possible contamination by pathogenic organisms can be a serious problem on space missions. In weightlessness, some bacteria grow faster than under conditions on Earth, and they <> are much more antibiotic resistant. However, it is not known whether and to which extent this different behavior of bacteria could affect the health of the crew or damage technical equipment on board. The SAMPLE experiment, which investigates what kind of microbial species are to be found on the ISS and how these adapt to space environment conditions, consists of Ansari taking samples from herself and from certain areas of the station by rubbing swab sticks over surfaces susceptible to having bacteria, for example switches, keyboards and personal hygiene equipment. ]

The SFP also performed her scheduled daily Earth video/photography program with the Nikon D1X digital camera with 800mm focal length, today targeting Kuwait’s Jahra region and waste from a water desalination plant in the sea of Al-Doha.

Ansari attended to her daily email ops and a private family conference using the IP (Internet Protocol) phone. She also added another installment in her eminently readable Space Blog ( ).

In addition, she, Pasha, Jeff, Misha, Thomas and L.A. had two hours reserved for scheduled commemorative (Russian: “symbolic”) activities, a standard tradition for visiting guests and departing expedition crewmembers, today signing and stamping 60 12S envelopes.

As is standard procedure for newly arrived station residents, the SFP and the E14 crew had their daily PMCs (Private Medical Conferences).

After Pavel and Jeff configured the Kenwood radio in the SM for, with VHF transceiver, headset and power supply, Anousheh conducted another ham radio session, arranged through the ARISS (Amateur Radio on ISS) organization: a “CQ for ALL” exchange at 1:10am EDT with amateur operators in the USA. [Ansari’s ham radio session with students at George Washington University in Washington, DC. yesterday got great coverage in today’s (Saturday) “Washington Post” issue.]

The crew worked out with their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical exercise program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-1), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-2) and RED resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2). The CDR’s 2.5-hr. workout again was on TVIS/aerobic only (Day 1).

Afterwards, Jeffrey transferred the 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 of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Thirteen — 23rd):

CULT (Cultural Factors Questionnaire): No report available yet.

CARD (Latent Virus Shedding during Spaceflight, ESA): Planned.

NOA (Nitric Oxide Analyzer): Next session on 9/24.

EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System, ESA): EMCS ops completed for Increment 13 with some forward work for Increment 14.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 “PIRS”.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Memory card exchange performed nominal on 9/12. So far data file size was checked and reported nominal. Last ALTEINO activity has been performed on 9/21. This activity included the packing of Inc13 dosimeters for download with 12S and installation of new dosimeters for Inc14…

TROPI (Study of Novel Sensory Mechanism in Root Phototropism): Planned for Increment 14.

RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge): Planned.

GASMAP (Human Research Facility/Gas Analyzer System for Metabolic Analysis Physiology): Planned

RS (Renal Stone): Planned.

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Complete.

IMMUNO (Saliva Sampling): Second session completed nominally on 9/23.

SAMPLE: First crew sampling sessions performed by Mikhail Tyurin on 9/21. Issue with the CGBA cooler in the USOS, which has lost its cooling capability. Workaround solution found with MELFI.

BASE: First photo session performed on 9/21. No report available yet.

LEUKIN: Experiment performed in several steps by Thomas Reiter on 9/20. Under detailed assessment (esp. for last total incubation time of LEU-ACT-2).

LBP (Lower Back Pain): Sessions are underway with Anousheh Ansari on a daily basis between 9/18 and 9/28.

SLEEP: Mike L.A. was thanked by the ground team for “the helpful video footage that you provided during the Actiwatch initialization activity. The PI looks forward to receiving your data in a month”.

YING (Yeast in No Gravity): First photo session performed on 9/21. No report available yet.

Swab (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): Completed for Increment 13.

PK-3 (Plasma Crystal 3): Complete.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Last session for Pavel Vinogradov successfully performed on 9/4.

PFS (Pulmonary Function System, upgrade of existing system): Complete.

BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3): Planned

PFMI (Pore Formation & Migration Investigation): Complete.

POEMS (Passive Observatories for Experimental Microbial Systems in Micro-G): Next canister insertion will occur in Inc14. All Inc13 canisters returned on STS-115. “Excellent growth was observed. Inc-13 crew: thanks for everything!”

DAFT (Dust & Aerosol Measurement Feasibility Test): Planned.

CBOSS (Cellular Biotechnology Support Systems): Complete.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

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

SEM (Space Experiment Module): Planned.

ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects in Astronauts’ Central Nervous System): Continued into the Increment 14.

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): Planned.

Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM): Complete.

Crew Earth Observations (CEO): Ongoing.

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:

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at:

To view the latest photos taken by the expedition 13 crew visit:

To view the latest photos taken by the expedition 14 crew visit:

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 Orbit (as of this morning, 11:47am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 341.6 km
  • Apogee height — 349.6 km
  • Perigee height — 333.5 km
  • Period — 91.37 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.001203
  • Solar Beta Angle — -31.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.76
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 85 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 44869

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

  • 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 — Soyuz 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.