Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 November 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
November 29, 2005
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 November 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.

Today, the crew took the monthly CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) computer-based emergency medical operations OBT (on-board training) drill, a 60-min. video-supported exercise to refresh the Crew Medical Officer (CMO)’s acuity in applying ACLS (Advanced Cardio Life Support) in an emergency where crew life is at risk.

FE Tokarev performed a functional checkout on the data output devices (USI) of two Russian BETA-08 ECG (electrocardiogram) lead cable belts, using the Gamma-1M medical complex, supported by Moscow via VHF over RGS (Russian ground stations).   [The BETA-08 is worn under the Orlan-M suits during EVAs.]

CDR/SO McArthur disassembled the BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3) experiment equipment and removed it from the Lab MWA (Maintenance Work Area), because the latter will be required for a major IFM (In-Flight Maintenance) of the failed VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer) starting next Thursday (12/1).  Also, the MWA will be relocated in the Lab to access the CHeCS rack for a planned AAA (Avionics Air Assembly) cleaning on 12/1.

Tokarev completed a major IFM in the Service Module (SM) by removing a failed storage battery (#3) and replacing it with a spare Blok 800A.   [The ZRU charge/discharge unit #3 was deactivated by TsUP/Moscow beforehand and later reactivated.  Battery #3 is currently being conditioned in Cycle mode.  This restores the full set of eight SM batteries to operation.]

On the HRF1 (Human Research Facility-1), Bill McArthur transferred the rack’s configuration files from the HRF1 laptop to the HRF1 EMU (EXPRESS Memory Unit).  Once the ground, through remote commanding, has confirmed proper transferal of the files, Bill was to shut down the laptop.

In the SM, Valery worked on the ASU toilet facilities, replacing both a lifetime-expired hose (I-U-RZ-RU7) with a new spare and the toilet’s urine receptacle (MP) and filter insert (F-V), stowing the old units for disposal.

As part of the current round of regular monthly preventive maintenance of Russian segment (RS) ventilation systems, the FE changed out four dust filter cartridges (PF1-4) in the SM, discarding the old units.

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Moving over to the Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok (FGB), Tokarev replaced the VD1 air duct connecting the Russian and US segments as part of the IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) system.   [This duct had repeatedly collapsed from incidental crew contact, and the new duct should preclude clasping.]  

Meanwhile, the CDR had four hours scheduled for installing newly arrived labels at the fireports of Node “Unity”.   [Fireports are openings in console and wall panels for fire extinguisher nozzle insertion to reach behind-panel space.  There are 26 fireports in the Node.]

Valery performed 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 regular IMS delta file, including locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

With the Elektron still shut down, the FE supported another O2 repress today of 8.3 mmHg (Torr) using resources from Progress 19. Resulting ppO2 (oxygen partial pressure) was 174 mmHg, or 23.2% of cabin air, including the MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer) error band.  

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 2 of the first set).]

Afterwards Bill 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 from the workouts, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

At ~2:20Pm EST, the crew used the Sputnik-SM Kenwood D700 amateur radio station in the SM to conduct a 10-min. ham radio session with students and teachers at Hawthorne Brook Middle School in Townsend, MA.   [Located in the northern portion of Massachusetts (Middlesex County), Hawthorne Brook Middle School has 610 students (grades 6, 7, 8) and teachers participating in a “team” environment.  Questions were uplinked beforehand.  “If the space station moves over 17,000 mph, why does it look like its going slow when we see it on television?”]

Tonight at ~11:51pm EST, Progress 19 propellant (fuel) from the cargo ship’s KDU refueling system will be transferred to the low-pressure storage tanks (BNDG) in the FGB module.  No crew action is required.   [Monitored by TsUP on Daily Orbits 2 & 3,  the SM’s automated daily timeline sequencer (SPP) will command transition to propellant transfer mode, then commence transfer from the prop tanks of Progress to the FGB tanks via prop lines passing through the SM, lasting about 3:20 hrs.  After the prop transfers from 19P are done, RS thrusters will only be used on the SM until after 20P arrival.]

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Delhi, India (ISS passed along the NE margin of this huge city. Visual cues for this hard-to-detect city are the Yamuna River, on which the city is centered, and its radiating pattern of road and rail lines), Cyclone, Bay of Bengal (Dynamic event. Tropical Cyclone 05B is traveling west towards Madras. Looking right along the coastline for this classic-shaped storm, several degrees off track), and Muglad Basin fans, Sudan (shooting a mapping pass from near nadir leftwards. The floor of the basin is a mass of old and young stream beds, some large, some small.  Understanding this almost chaotic pattern is our task.  Maps of the region admit defeat and render no stream patterns.  This petroleum province is dominated by landforms [megafans] that are poorly understood both locally and in the geosciences generally.  ISS CEO imagery thus far has provided excellent broad views of the western end of the basin where major sedimentation on the continent, far from any coast, begins.  Recent CEO images of western Muglad also illustrate the unique tectonics of Africa– a simple pattern of higher ground [“swells”] separating basins hundreds of km in diameter.  Swells are generated by numerous small hotspots beneath the African plate, which produce characteristic small volcanoes or volcanic fields along swell crests.   

This swell-and-basin tectonic style is thought to result from the very slow pace of movement of the African plate. Other tectonic plates move faster, which produces the familiar mountain-building zone—such as the Andes and Rockies—at the plate boundary).

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, 7:11am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 351.5 km
  • Apogee height — 357.4 km
  • Perigee height — 345.7 km
  • Period — 91.57 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008692
  • Solar Beta Angle — -66.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 49 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40170


Upcoming Events (all dates Eastern):

  • 12/20/05?? — Progress M-54/19P undocking & reentry (date under review)
  • 12/21/05 — Progress M-55/20P launch
  • 12/23/05 — Progress M-55/20P docking
  • 01/09/06 — 100 days for Expedition 12
  • 02/02/06 — Russian EVA-15
  • 03/22/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S launch
  • 03/24/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S docking
  • 04/01/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S undocking & return.


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.