Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 December 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
January 3, 2006
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 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.    

The crew began their second NASA/JSC second renal (kidney) stone session, starting their diet logs, after which CDR McArthur set up the experiment hardware and took photo documentation. [This long-range preventive medicine investigation features daily random ingestion of either potassium citrate or placebo tablets. It is Dr. Peggy Whitson’s double-blind research study investigating methods to prevent formation of kidney stones in zero-G. Part of the experiment consists in keeping a metabolic diet log (food and fluid intake), followed by collection of urine samples several times per day starting tomorrow and ending on Friday morning (12/30).]

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Weekly Status
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Soyuz | Progress
ISS News | ATV

Working in the 20P cargo ship preparatory to today s start of transfer operations, FE Tokarev installed the LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry system, along with its ROM unit (read-only memory, TA765B). The LKT was subsequently switched on by the ground to complete the basic configuration.  [The BITS2-12, VD-SU control mode, and SKV air conditioner were also temporarily powered off for the installation.]

The FE assembled and installed the IMV (intermodular ventilation) air duct into the Progress-55 after equipping it with the standard BVN fan & air heater unit, BP instrumentation package and DTG gas temperature sensor.

In the Service Module (SM), Tokarev turned off the Elektron oxygen (O2) generator, with the usual nitrogen (N2) purge of the BZh Liquid Unit, to allow use of the remaining Progress O2 before 19P undocking on 3/3/06.

CDR McArthur worked on the SMs Pressure Control & Atmosphere Monitoring System (SKDS), removing and replacing, with a spare unit, the GL2106 gas analyzer for carbon monoxide (CO), which had been diagnosed as failed after Tokarev put it to a final test on 12/26.

McArthur also conducted the periodic inspection and cleaning of the Joint Airlock s bacterial filter and smoke detector.

Valery Tokarev had two hours reserved for conducting 20P cargo transfer operations, to extend over the remainder of this week, supported by the IMS (Inventory Management System) for reference and logging.  [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 (including new U.S. TCCS {Trace Contaminant Control Subassembly} hardware, experiment equipment, and Christmas/New Year ( Grandfather Frost ) presents for the crew.]

Bill worked on the RED (Resistive Exercise Device), which had its pulley cables replaced (done after every 53,515 cycles), followed by the load calibration of its Flexpack canisters as required after cable replacements (done last: 9/19).  [The calibration of the Schwinn RED cans re-establishes the relationship of specific load settings with a specific number of pulls per setting, followed by recording of the load values measured with a calibration tool and steel handles from the on-orbit calibration kit.]

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

Afterwards, Bill 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.

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

The CDR had 3 hrs. set aside for an IMS-supported search of the station for misplaced hardware, specifically for the thermal covers for the SFOG (solid-fuel oxygen generator) candles , used as backup O2 sources, a BCSS (Biotechnology Cell Science Stowage) experiment caddy , and the missing PromISS hardware to be used for the newly arrived PromISS (Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope) samples.  [Descriptive material, including pictures, of the missing gear was uplinked, and the CBOSS-FDI team arranged for a teleconference with the Science Officer on the BCSS Caddy contents.]

Working off his voluntary “time available” task list, the FE checked the operation of the Japanese experiment GCF-JAXA (Granada Crystallization Facility) in the ESA MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), including a temperature check on the ART (automatic temperature recorder).  [This monitoring/temp checking is a daily routine activity for GCF-JAXA until 4/30 next year.]

At ~8:20am EST, the crew set up a fitting scenery for a festive Russian New Year television downlink (including a fir tree decorated with chocolate toys and a Grandfather Frost figure from the Vologda Region, costume caps, and wrist watches sent up by the Moscow Government) and at ~8:40am supported an interactive PAO/TV program, taped at TsUP-Moscow, of Greetings from Grandfather Frost of all Russia to the Children of the Planet for distribution on 12/31.  [Participants on the ground included the Governor of Vologda Region with entourage, plus representatives of the Mayor of Moscow s office. I, the Great Winter Wizard, the Creator of New Year and Christmas Fairy Tales, the Deliverer of The Most Devout Wishes, address all children of the world&. The Year 2006 marks the 45th Anniversary of the First Human Space Flight. Using the magic powers bestowed upon me by the Laws of The New Year, I declare the coming New Year as the Year of Progress, Valor, and Achievement! Today, on the New Year Eve, I put in your good hands our common home our Planet Earth, so beautiful and so fragile&Do not forget to do at least one small good deed every day& ]

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets, limited in the current XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, which is available for only ~1/4 of each orbit when not facing forward ( in ram ), were Namib Desert Coast (Dynamic event. Oblique views of the coastline, looking right, were requested. Apart from diamond-rich beach deposits, the region is of great interest for comparative planetary geology: the regional effects of wind are extreme in this hyperarid region, since water has been ineffective for some tens of millions of years. Dunes, light and dark wind streaks downwind of obstacles, and extreme wind erosion [which has generated a hilly landscape] are all features which also occur on Mars. How these landscapes fit together geographically is another level of analysis), and Cairo, Egypt — city lights at night (Dynamic event. This was a practice session for night photography of [cloudfree] city lights. Looking oblique left. This session was in preparation for future night-time photography of the New Orleans region as a way to measure the post-hurricane recovery effort).

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, 6:45am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 348.9 km
  • Apogee height — 356.4 km
  • Perigee height — 341.5 km
  • Period — 91.52 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0011009
  • Solar Beta Angle — 25.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 132 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40626

Upcoming Events (all dates Eastern; tentative):

  • 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
  • 06/28/06 — Progress M-57/22P launch
  • 06/30/06 — Progress M-57/22P docking
  • 09/12/06 — Progress M-56/21P undocking & reentry
  • 09/13/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S launch
  • 09/15/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S docking
  • 09/23/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S undocking & reentry
  • 09/28/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S relocation (DC1 to FGB nadir port)
  • 10/18/06 — Progress M-58/23P launch
  • 10/20/06 — Progress M-58/23P docking
  • 12/19/06 — Progress M-57/22P undocking & reentry
  • 12/20/06 — Progress M-59/24P launch
  • 12/22/06 — Progress M-59/24P docking.


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.