Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 April 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
April 6, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 April 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.   Day 3 of joint Exp.12/Exp.13 operations. Underway: Week 26 of Increment 12.

After wake-up at the current regular time (3:30am EDT), both crews went to work on another busy schedule of ISS-12-to-ISS-13 handovers.

General handover activities continue to go well.

FE12 Tokarev conducted the periodic checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various Russian segment (RS) hatchways, including the SM-to-Soyuz tunnel, and the FGB-to-Node passageway.   [This is especially important when the ventilation/circulation system has to cope with a large crew on board.]

Afterwards, Tokarev  collected air samples with the IPD-NH3 Draeger tubes for NH3 (ammonia) near the ASU toilet facilities preparatory for tomorrow’s planned standard Russian IMMUNO experiment, which includes urine collections.  Another air sampling will be performed after experiment completion.   [IMMUNO requires Valery tomorrow to undergo stress testing, saliva sampling, venous blood work and urine collections, with log entries of meal, fluid and medication intakes on a record card.]

Later, Tokarev underwent the Day 1 protocol of the Russian MedOps tests MBI-11 “Gematologia” (Hematology) which investigate the decrease in red blood cell mass during long duration exposure to micro-G, using the Reflotron-4 analyzer.   [CDR-13 Vinogradov assisted in the test, drawing the blood samples for analysis with the special Erythrocyte kit after he and Valery had donned protective goggles.]


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

The FE12 supported TsUP-Moscow in powering down the Elektron oxygen (O2) generator and performing the standard safety purge with nitrogen (N2) on its BZh-8 liquid unit.  The shutdown is in preparation for tomorrow’s starting regeneration of the BMP trace impurities removal system, which temporarily shares the same vacuum exhaust valve as the Elektron. [During the Elektron’s downtime, onboard ppO2 (partial pressure O2) is being maintained at nominal levels by refreshes from Progress 20 storage.]

Also, as a demo for Pavel Vinogradov, Valery completed the periodic (weekly) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the KOV thermal loops’ EDV container with purified (deionized) water from the BKO multifiltration/purification column unit.

In addition, Tokarev performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system, including its ASU toilet system.

Bill McArthur and Jeff Williams conducted the daily atmospheric status check for ppO2 (Partial Pressure Oxygen) and ppCO2 (pp Carbon Dioxide), using the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen Sensor) and CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit).

Tokarev completed his third preliminary (training) session in the “Chibis” ODNT suit as part of his preparations for returning into gravity.  A tagup with ground specialists via S-band supported the run, and Bill McArthur assisted as required.   [The below-the-waist reduced-pressure device ODNT (US: LBNP) in the “Chibis” garment provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for reestablishing the body’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after the six-month stay in zero-G.]

Later, in the DC1 Docking Compartment, Valery demonstrated to Pavel the periodic collection of readings on the MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor) radiation sensor reader display of the Matryoshka antroph-amorphous (human torso) “phantoms” located inside the ISS.   [The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies.  Besides the Phantom Sphere containers in the SM, the human torso in the DC1 is equipped with individual horizontal slice-like layers with 356 thermoluminescent detectors (TLDs) and five nuclear radiation tracking detectors (NTDPs).  The mannequin is covered with a “poncho” and “hood” and used for studies of on-orbit radiation and long-term dose accumulation.  Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

VC10 guest cosmonaut Pontes worked today on five of his Brazilian science experiments.   [Marcos set up CEM (Capillary Desiccator Functioning in Micro-g), then activated and later deactivated the experiment.  He performed documentary photography on GSM (Seed Germination in Micro-g), ran the second & third cycle of the MHP (Miniature Wire Heat Transfer Tube) payload, then performed the third & fourth NIP (Interacting Protein Clusters) experiment, took situational photographs of the educational SED (Brazilian Seeds “Phaseolus vulgaris”) payload and transferred all collected images to the RSK1 laptop for subsequent downlink to TsUP via the Russian BSR-TM telemetry comm channel.]

Today’s scheduled NKA experiment activities in the RS, performed by Pavel and Valery, were not completed when the crew discovered that all four containers of the KUBIK experiment incubator had leaked during stowage.  The crew donned appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) prior to disposing of the four containers, with no ill effects on any crew member.   [The four NKA samples were in the pressurized portion of the KUBIK Glovebox, which contained the spill. NKA contains Lymphocytes and is categorized as BSL-2 (Bio Safety Level 2).  Impact: Loss of crew time to clean up the samples, and loss of science.  NKA activities will proceed with the remaining samples.]

McArthur, Tokarev and Williams performed the standard weekly maintenance on the TVIS treadmill in the SM, primarily checking the condition of the SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices) and recording time & date values.

Both E12 crewmembers completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the TVIS, RED resistive exerciser and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer.

Afterwards, McArthur and Williams transferred the exercise data files to the MEC 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 ~10:55am EDT, the station residents participated in a 30-min. joint crew news conference conducted with U.S. media at NASA centers (15 min.) and Russian and other media at TsUP-Moscow (15 min.).   [The PAO event again utilized the relatively new NASA Television Digital Satellite System.  Due to the signal encoding and decoding required, the new digital satellite system has a 5-second audio delay between ISS and ground reception, and vice versa, for which the crew is prepared.]

At 1:25pm EDT, FE12 Tokarev set up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Ericsson VHF transceiver, headset, power supply) for SFP Pontes to conduct, at 1:30pm a 10-min. ham radio exchange with the ham fans in Brazil, the first of three scheduled amateur radio sessions for Marcos.

Marcos also held a teleconference with his consultants team at TsUP to discuss his onboard program.

Pavel Vinogradov, Valery Tokarev and Marcos Pontes had some time reserved for scheduled commemorative (Russian: “symbolic”) activity, a standard tradition for visiting guests and departing expedition crewmembers, usually consisting of signing and stamping envelopes and imaging other memorabilia.    [VC10 items to be returned for Marcos were 80 envelopes with stamps and VC10 mission logo, stamped in orbit by Pontes, and an “Earth” Kit, which was photographed and videoed, but left unopened and later stowed in 11S for return.  CDR13 Vinogradov also signed the standard certificate.]

Assisted by Valery, Pavel conducted his first session of the Russian “Uragan” (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the Nikon D1X digital camera with f400 mm lens and 2x teleconverter (thus, f800).   [Today’s “learning” targets were the Andes and Northern Peru, with major volcanoes, particularly Huascaran V., the Western slopes of the Andes and the Naska Plateau and the Parana River valley.]

CDR12 McArthur transferred his CPSD (Crew Personal Support Disk) to the A/L for a test of the software in support of the following “Campout” SDTO (Station Development Test Objective).   [The ACSCPC (Atmosphere Control & Supply Control Pressure & Composition) software has the capability to automatically control the O2 and N2 (nitrogen) partial pressure.  Tonight’s A/L Campout SDTO is a checkout of this automated campout software, allowing verification of proper operation prior to its use during actual EVA preparations.  The Campout Denitrogenation Protocol is being baselined for EVAs due to the benefits in timeline and operational simplicity.  The crew activities for this test include some reconfiguration of the A/L, depressurization to 10.2 psia, sleeping in the A/L overnight, and then restoring “Quest” to its nominal configuration.  The depressurization of the A/L was scheduled to start at ~3:30pm EDT and the overnight Campout of Bill and Jeff at ~6:30pm.]

Yesterday, SFP Pontes had difficulty accessing his onboard Email account.   CDR-12 McArthur discovered that the permission settings for the SFP Email account were exactly the same as those for the previous handover mission’s SFP.  Teams went to work to prepare an SFP Email account with “full ISS crewmember” privileges, to ensure SFP email capability as a temporary measure until the SFP Email account can be enabled.

Early this morning, the CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) in the Lab failed during transition from bed 1 to bed 2.  Ground teams ran the procedure that commands the ASV valve to change position; this successfully cleared the current signature. Presently, CDRA is being returned to normal operation.   [Past similar failures have been attributed to accumulation of debris on the valves.  Three of the four ASV valves are protected by in-line sock filters, but ASV #1 has not been installed due to accessibility issues.  Earlier today the CO2 concentration was at 2.9 mmHg, well below the Flight Rule limit of 5.3 mmHg.  Currently, there is no impact due to this issue.]

The O2 repress of the cabin with Progress 20 O2 has been moved to tomorrow.

Crew sleep begins 7:00pm EDT tonight, to last through 3:30am tomorrow morning.

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

  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, 7:11am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 345.0 km
  • Apogee height — 351.2 km
  • Perigee height — 338.9 km
  • Period — 91.44 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0009132
  • Solar Beta Angle — -13.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 70 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 42138

Significant Events Ahead (all dates subject to change):

  • 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.