Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 December 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
January 3, 2006
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 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.  Saturday Christmas Eve (see below).

The crew is still on the off-nominal sleep cycle, modified to accommodate Progress arrival. Bedtime last night was at ~10:00pm EST, wakeup this morning at ~6:30am, and next sleep time is tonight at ~6:00pm.

Progress-55/20P docking yesterday at 2:46pm EST was followed by docking probe retraction and hook closure at 2:55pm, good leak checks at ~5:00-6:15 pm and then hatches opening, confirmed by the crew at 6:56pm.  [Other post-docking activities included shutting off the TORU teleoperator radio system, reconfiguring STTS communications in the Russian segment (RS), tearing down the TV Ku-band connection via the FGB A31p laptop through the US segment (USOS), Progress battery charging from the SM (~9:30am today on DO14), and pressure checks of the fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and SM (~2:00pm today on DO2).]

Following hatch opening, Valery Tokarev first installed the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the coupling and then performed the standard air sampling inside the Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler, after which he deactivated the cargo ship.

After dragging in and installing the ventilation air ducts between the SM, DC1 and the cargo ship, Valery and Bill disassembled the SSVP in the hatchway and removed and dismantled the docking mechanism (StM).  [The StM is the “classic” probe-and-cone type, consisting of an active docking assembly (ASA) with a probe (SSh), which fits into the cone (SK) on the passive docking assembly (PSA). The ASA is mounted on the Progress’ cargo module (GrO), while the PSA sits on the docking ports of the SM, FGB and DC-1.]

20P arrived with a cargo load totaling ~2580 kg (5680 lbs), comprised of 880 kg (1940 lbs) of propellants (fuel/oxidizer) for the Station’s Russian thrusters, 83 kg (183 lbs) of oxygen and air for the ISS atmosphere, 210 kg (463 lbs) of water to augment onboard supplies, plus ~1400 kg (3,100 lbs) of spare parts, repair gear, life support system replaceables, experiment hardware, and Christmas presents for the crew.

Today, after postsleep activities (station inspection, morning toilet, breakfast & daily planning conference) the crew spent several hours with the first cargo transfers from the Progress, led off with the food ration packages stowed conveniently close to the hatch tunnel.

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

Afterwards, Valery moved high-priority Russian biotech experiments from the cargo ship to the SM and set them up for operation. The setups were documented photographically.  [Transferred payloads were KRISTALLIZATOR (TKhX-9, to obtain high-quality, high-resolution protein monocrystals required for X-ray crystallographic analysis and to produce bio-crystal films from a volumetric solution on substrates using the artificial epitaxy effect), the ESA experiment ALTCRISS (Alteino Long-Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS), and the Japanese experiments GCF-JAXA (Granada Crystallization Facility) and JAXA 3D-PCGF (3D Photon Crystals Growth Facility) for the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), and the re-flown Russian BIO-11 STATOKONIA (study of equilibrium, nature and dynamics of snails in the “Ulitka” incubator).]

McArthur also moved the newly arrived PromISS (Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope) samples to the Russian KUBIK-AMBER thermostatically regulated container.  

Later, the CDR performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU).

Both crewmembers completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer, 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).]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked today.

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

Full Size/Update
Real Time ISS TrackerMore Links

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 11:20am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 349.3 km
  • Apogee height — 356.6 km
  • Perigee height — 342.0 km
  • Period — 91.52 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010855
  • Solar Beta Angle — 28.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 65 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40566

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.

Christmas Uplink 12/24 from Flight Control Team to Bill and Valery:

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Station
Not a critter was stirring, cept a CMG gyration.
The stockings were hung by the Airlock with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

Expedition XII was floating all snug in their bags,
With visions of sugar-plums in vacuum packed bags.
And Valeri in his pjs, and I in my elf cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long 5 orbit nap.

When out on the arrays there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our Kayutas to see what was the matter.
Away to the LAB window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutter and threw up the sash (Nuts, close the sash!)

The moon on the shine of the newly docked Progress
Gave the luster of solar noon to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than space junk his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name! (on the SSOR)

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the NODE! to the top of the SM!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away, go get em!”

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the overhead
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was floating around,
Out of the Airlock St Nicholas bobbed with a bound.

He was dressed in an Orlan, from his head to his foot,
And his suit was all tarnished with MMOD and soot.
A bundle of T-shirts he had velcroed to his back,
And he looked like a Flight Surgeon, just opening his pack.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside his great helmet,
And giving a nod, out the Airlock he split!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like a De-orbiting Space Shuttle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

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.