Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 January 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
January 27, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 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. 

Onboard sleep cycle continues to be shifted 5 hours to the right (wake up 6:00am EST, sleep at 9:30pm), to prepare the crew for next week s EVA-15 spacewalk (which begins at ~5:26pm EST).

CDR McArthur and FE Tokarev pressed on in their preparations of next week s EVA on 2/3 (Friday), preceded by the usual spacewalk dry run on 1/31 (Tuesday). Both crewmembers worked on the EVA support panels (POV) in the Russian segment (RS) to set them up and test them out for the training run and EVA, Bill in the Service Module Transfer Compartment (SM PkhO) and Valery in the DC1 Docking Compartment.

Orlan activities focused on equipping the suits with their consumable ORU (orbit replaceable unit) elements, setting up communications, performing leak checks and valve functionality tests on the suits and their BSS interface units. Preparations also dealt with installation of US EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) helmet lights on the two Orlan-M suits #25 and #27 to be used for the spacewalk.  [Orlan ORUs are LiOH canisters (LP-9), primary & backup oxygen tanks (BK-3), moisture collectors, feedwater filters (FOR), CO2 measuring unit (IK) filter, filtration & separation units (BOS), and the newly charged 825M1 storage batteries. Personal gear includes the KVO liquid cooling garment, ShL-10 comm cap, GP-10K gloves, BK-10 thermal comfort undergarment, socks, etc.]

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Further preparations for the DC1 spacewalk consisted of installing the usual additional portable air repress bottle (BNP) in the Pirs docking module (to support a DC1 repress in the event of a failure of the DC1/PkhO hatch s pressure equalization valve), then setting up the DC1 and the SM transfer tunnel (PkhO) itself, removing temporarily stowed equipment not needed for the spacewalk and recording its interim stowage locations with the IMS (inventory management system). A second BNP supplementary portable air repress bottle was installed in the repress line of the SM s work compartment (RO).

In addition, the crew reviewed briefing material with egress procedures from the DC1 airlock module.

In the Soyuz-217 crew return vehicle, Tokarev deactivated the gas analyzer in the Descent Module.

As a standard health test requirement for Orlan EVA participants, both crewmembers completed a session of the MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation during graded exercises on the VELO cycle ergometer, each in turn assisting the other as CMO (crew medical officer).  [The assessment, supported by ground specialist tagup, uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer’s instrumentation panels. For the graded exercise, the crew worked the pedals after a prescribed program at load settings of 125, 150, and 175 watts for three minutes each.]

In support of subsequent payload operations with EXPRESS rack 5 (ER5), McArthur powered up the ER5 laptop and assisted with the rack s remote activation from POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center)/Huntsville. For the next 18 hrs, the ground is tracking the power and thermal resources of the EXPRESS rack during its operations. This included a run of the SNFM (Serial Network Flow Monitor) for which the Science Officer activated the SNFM on the ER5 laptop computer (ELC) for a 3-hr. untended autocapture of LAN-1 science network bridged data traffic during the day. Bill then powered ER5 down again.

The CDR completed the regular bi-monthly reboot of the OCA (Orbit Communications Adapter) comm router SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop.  [Yesterday the ground had trouble uplinking file messages via OCA. The CDR rebooted the OCA Router twice without success. Later, McArthur inspected the KU-Band Receiver, located in the Lab, and saw two LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) not illuminated. He checked the cables and powercycled the box, after which the LEDs turned on. The ground confirmed OCA file transfer restored. The CCD noted the importance of the Ku-band Receiver and that there is no spare on board.]

McArthur also collected the periodic (weekly) reading of the cabin air’s current carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the SM and Lab, using the U.S. CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit, #1015), to be called down for use in trending analyses, along with its battery status, taken after pump start-up.  [Ground controllers continue to investigate the as-yet-unexplained divergence between US Lab MCA (Major Constituent Analyzer) CO2 readings and SM GA (Gas Analyzer) readings. In support of the analysis, TsUP-Moscow requested the crew to reduce the set point of the Vozdukh CO2 removal system to 3.5mm Hg, which is expected to reduce ppCO2 (partial pressure CO2) levels in both segments and should aid engineering analysis of the divergence.]

The CDR performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU), and he also updated/edited the standard IMS delta file , including locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

Because of MO-5 (above), physical exercise today was reduced for both crewmembers from the regular 2.5-hr. exercise program on the TVIS treadmill, CEVIS cycle ergometer, and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer to a 1.5-hr. session.  [Valery 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 2 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).

At ~5:00pm EST, Bill and Valery will conduct their ninth regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Lead Flight Director at MCC-H and TsUP/Moscow via S-band/audio, with a phone patch between Houston and Moscow.

The FE will also check 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 second discretionary task on the Russian work list for Tokarev today is the regular status check of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2/Lada-8 (“Plants-2”) experiment which researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions.  [Rasteniya researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-8 greenhouse. The regular maintenance of the experiment (each Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) involves monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, topping off the water tank if ~20-25% of the total amount (4 liters) remains, and photo/video recording. Once weekly, data from the Lada greenhouse control unit are recorded on floppy disk for weekly downlink via REGUL-Packet or the new BSR-TM at a suitable occasion.

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 Internal waves, Azores, Atlantic (weather was predicted to be clearing over the islands. Looking to the south of the Azores for the sunglint point and internal waves. It is desirable to link internal wave features to a geographic feature [i.e. islands] via overlapping frames for geolocation purposes), Northern Temperate Lakes, Wisconsin (this nadir pass provides an opportunity to photograph snow and ice cover in this Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site. Investigation of lake ecosystem dynamics and hydrology of the surrounding landscape are the major research foci of this site), and Baltimore Ecosystem, Maryland (this LTER site focuses on the human-dominated ecosystem of the Baltimore metropolitan area. Human modification of the Chesapeake Bay watershed is of particular interest, and overlapping nadir frames along track are useful for land cover classification and change detection).

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, 7:12am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 346.7 km
  • Apogee height — 353.2 km
  • Perigee height — 340.1 km
  • Period — 91.47 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0009706
  • Solar Beta Angle — -60.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 55 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 41099

Events Ahead (all dates Eastern; tentative):

  • 01/31/06 — Orlan spacesuit dry run
  • 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 + Marcos 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.