Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 March 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
March 27, 2006
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 March 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. Underway: Week 25 for Expedition 12.

The crew had two hours reserved for reviewing the new VC-10 experiment program of Visiting Crewmember Marcos Cesar Pontes, to arrive 4/1 on 12S, followed by a tagup with ground specialists to discuss the program. [The VC-10 program will be performed from 3/30 through 4/9. Pontes will perform 8 experiments (1 biological, 3 biotechnological, 2 technical, 2 educational): GSM (Seed Germination in Micro-g), DRM (DNA Repair in Micro-G), MEK (Effects of Micro-g on Fermentative Kinetics), NIP (Interacting Protein Clusters), CEM (Capillary Desiccator Functioning in Micro-g), MHP (Miniature Wire Heat Transfer Tube), SED (Brazilian Seeds Phaseolus vulgaris ), and CCM (Chlorophyll Chromatography). He will also conduct 4 real-time PAO events with TsUP-Moscow, 3 ham radio sessions, photo & video imagery inside the Russian segment (RS), activities with symbolic/commemorative items and utilize the RSK1 laptop for copying & editing photo images and preparing them for downlink via Russian BSR-TM.]

The crew also had another hour to prepare for their departure on 4/8.

Afterwards McArthur and Tokarev conducted a 30-min. teleconference with ground specialists to discuss the Soyuz timeline vis-à-vis US segment (USOS) activities during the ISS-12/ISS-13 joint period. On 3/28, Tokarev will prepare the necessary worksites for the VC-10 and handover programs. [The ISS-13 program during the handover period consists of 13 experiments: 6 biological (MYOCITE, STROMA, AMPHIBODY, TUBUL, MIA, NKA) in the KUBIK1 and KUBIK 2 incubators (to be delivered on Soyuz TMA-8), 3 biotechnological (CONJUGATION. ANTIGENE, BIOCULTURE), and 4 others (CARDIOCOG-2 {4/6}, NOA1 {4/6}, ETD {4/7, in DC1}, ALTCRISS {4/8}).]

After the completion of equipment prepacking for the return to Earth, the crew today reviewed the uplinked Soyuz TMA-7 stowage plan, to prepare for the upcoming difficult task of stowing the return items in the 11S Descent Module. A tagup with ground specialists supported the activity.

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

CDR William McArthur was scheduled for a search for a missing gas analyzer (GA) IK0501 fan, since the current hardware indicates approaching end-of-life. Also still missing and subject to more intensive crew search are four Russian LP-9 lithium hydroxide (LiOH) canisters for CO2 (carbon dioxide) absorption during Orlan EVA. [These unused filter canisters were unloaded on 2/2/06 from Progress M-53, and there are no additional canisters on board. Thus, an unscheduled/contingency Russian EVA would not be possible at this time. IK0501 is an automated system for measuring CO2, O2, and H2O in the air as well as the flow rate of the gas being analyzed.]

FE Valery Tokarev completed the regular periodic payload photographing of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment, and the downloading of data & imagery collected to the computer for subsequent downlinking. [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.]

The CDR conducted another periodic atmospheric status check for ppO2 (Partial Pressure Oxygen) and ppCO2 (pp Carbon Dioxide), using the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen Sensor).

Afterwards, McArthur deployed two passive FMK (formaldehyde monitoring kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (below CEVIS) and SM (most forward handrail), to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis.

Bill completed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU), plus the weekly inspection of the air/liquid condensate separator apparatus (BRPK), 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).

Both crewmembers worked out in 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 1 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 on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

Working off his discretionary time available task list, Tokarev completed his regular checkup on 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.]

The hot-fire thruster testing of the Soyuz TMA-7 spacecraft s SUD motion control system, standard procedure before undockings, was performed nominally early this morning (3:28-3:34am EST) on Daily Orbit 4. [During the subsequent attitude control firing by SM thrusters, an SM yaw thruster (-R3) indicated failure (3:55am). Software automatically selected an alternate yaw thruster (-R1), and the maneuver was completed on time. The thruster is on manifold #2 (which was used after the preceding Soyuz thruster test). Manifold #2 still has two yaw thrusters (in yaw direction) functional (-R1 & -R2) which can be selected as work-around for future maneuvers. Moscow is analyzing.]

IMV (intermodular ventilation) flow measurements, taken on 3/24 at the Lab Aft Port register, provided composite results that indicate a flow-out of the register of 124 cubic feet per minute (cfm; nominal is 140 cfm). Results are considered satisfactory.

TDRS F-3 (Tracking & Data Relay Satellite F-3) at 275 deg. longitude over the Indian Ocean continues to be unavailable for ISS communications. Recovery efforts are underway and are now expected to return the TDRS to operation on Tuesday, 3/28. [The satellite is currently drifting towards its target location at a rate of approximately 1.39 deg/day eastward. Maneuvers to stop it in its assigned location are scheduled for tomorrow at two occasions. Intensive post maneuver tracking will be performed after each maneuver for refined orbit determination. Trim maneuvers may be required within the next week after completion of the stop maneuvers to refine the final orbit. Based on the planned maneuvers, TDRS F-3 should be within its assigned location at tomorrow at ~9:30am EST. Its current position uncertainty makes precise antenna pointing on the ISS impossible, and more tracking data will be required. Its loss does not cause any major impacts to current ISS operations, which are being rearranged, but ISS would experience extended communication outages when not in line-of-sight of alternate TDRSs. TDRSs are used as a relay for uplinking ISS command, data, voice, and video from the ground.]

At Kazakhstan s Baikonur Cosmodrome, launch preparations are continuing on the Soyuz TMA-8/12S crew transport spacecraft. In the LV Assembly and Testing Facility, the payload package of the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle, containing the assembled Soyuz TMA-8 spacecraft, was integrated with the launch vehicle. (See picture below). Subsequently, the regular meeting of the Governmental Commission and Technical Management gave the approval to roll out the launch vehicle to the launch pad early tomorrow morning. [After pre-launch operations on the launch complex, such as LV tanking, liftoff is scheduled on 3/29, 9:30pm EST. Besides its crew of three, 12S will carry 160 kg of cargo, consisting of 76 manifested cargo items: 37 Russian (14 logistics, 2 Brazilian commemorative, plus 9 Russian and 12 Brazilian experiments), 12 items for 7 ESA payloads, and 27 US cargo items (spares and consumables, crew support & medical equipment, plus EVA hardware).]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

To date, more than 186,000 of CEO images have been taken in the first five years of the ISS, almost one third of the total number of images taken from orbit by astronauts.

To date, more than 186,000 of CEO images have been taken in the first five years of the ISS, almost 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 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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:39am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 345.5 km
  • Apogee height 351.6 km
  • Perigee height — 339.5 km
  • Period — 91.45 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0009057
  • Solar Beta Angle — -42.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 72 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 42028

Significant Events Ahead (all dates subject to change)

  • 03/29/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S launch (Pavel Vinogradov/Russia, Jeffrey
  • Williams/US, Marcos Pontes/Brazil, 9:30pm EST; 3/30, 6:30am Moscow; 3/30, 8:30am Baikonur)
  • 03/31/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S docking (FGB nadir port), 11:19pm EST; mnvr. to LVLH XVV after dock; 4/1, 8:19am Moscow)
  • 04/01/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S-ISS hatch opening ~12:30am EST
  • 04/08/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S-ISS hatch closing ~1:12pm EDT
  • 04/08/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S undocking (4:28pm EDT) & land (7:46pm EDT); (mnvr. to XPOP after undock)
  • 04/19/06 — SM main engine test/ISS reboost
  • 04/24/06 — Progress M-56/21P launch
  • 04/26/06 — Progress M-56/21P docking (SM aft port)
  • 06/19/06 — Progress M-55/20P undocking (DC1) & reentry
  • 06/28/06 — Progress M-57/22P launch
  • 06/30/06 — Progress M-57/22P docking (DC1)
  • 07/01/06 — NET STS-121/ULF1.1 launch
  • 07/??/06 — US EVA-5
  • 07/31/06 — Russian EVA-16
  • 08/28/07 — NET STS-115/12A launch
  • 09/13/06 — Progress M-56/21P undocking (SM aft port) & reentry
  • 09/14/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S launch (Expedition 14 + VC11)
  • 09/16/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S docking (SM aft port)
  • 09/24/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S undocking (FGB nadir port) & reentry
  • 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)
  • 11/16/06 — NET STS-116/12A.1 launch
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • ??/??/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)
  • 03/22/07 — NET STS-117/13A launch
  • ??/??/07 — Soyuz TMA-10/14S relocation (SM aft port to FGB nadir port)
  • 06/14/07 — NET STS-118/13A.1.

(NET = no earlier than)

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.