Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 January 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
January 3, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 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.  The crew s first workday in 2006.

CDR/SO McArthur completed another session of the general U.S. MedOps Periodic Fitness Evaluation (PFE), a monthly 1.5-hr. procedure that checks up on blood pressure and electrocardiogram (ECG) during programmed exercise on the CEVIS (cycle ergometer with vibration isolation) in the Lab. Readings were taken with the BP/ECG (blood pressure/electrocardiograph) and the HRM (heart rate monitor) watch with its radio transmitter, with FE Tokarev assisting as CMO.  [BP/ECG provides automated noninvasive systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements while also monitoring and displaying accurate heart rates on a continual basis at rest and during exercise.]

Valery Tokarev again had two hours reserved for conducting cargo transfer operations from Progress M-55/20P, supported by the IMS (Inventory Management System) for reference and update.

Starting a new round of monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian segment) ventilation systems, the CDR performed a one-hour inspection and cleaning of Group A ventilator fans and grilles in the Service Module (SM).

Afterwards, McArthur had another hour scheduled for changing out the SM s four dust filter cartridges (PF1-4), discarding the old units.

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Right after breakfast (1:40am EST), FE Tokarev conducted his fourth 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 targets valleys on the Western slope of the Taiwan Island. Currently there are also favorable lighting conditions for Uragan observations of Morocco (upland area between the coastline and the city of Marrakesh), Peru (the Huascaran Glacier), Pamir (the Medvezhy Glacier), and Central Asia and the Caucasus.]

As a regular scheduled task, Tokarev conducted a session with the “Diatomeya” ocean observations program, using the Nikon D1X digital still camera with 400mm-lens from window #9 and the DSR PD-150P camcorder from window #8 to obtain imagery of Southern portions of the Pacific Ocean and Tropical Atlantic along the ground track Latitude Forty South Pacific-Galapagos Islands-NW South American Coastline-Caribbean Sea.  [Targets of interest were boiling water effects in the hydrothermal activity areas, color & brightness contrast patterns, manifestations of water circulation (swirls, extended strips, amorphous stains ), and cloud swirls, cloud patterns and boundaries above the Ocean.]

McArthur handled the routine task of taking two photos of the DC-1 docking compartment’s docking cone, used for the recent Progress 20 linkup, a standard practice after Russian dockings. These images are used to refine current understanding of docking conditions.  [The objective is to take photo imagery of the scratch or scuff mark left by the head of the docking probe on the internal surface of the drogue (docking cone) ring, now rotated out of the passageway. As other crewmembers before him, Bill used the Kodak 760 digital still camera to take two pictures each with the hatch closed down and downlinked them later via OCA.]

The CDR also worked on the U.S. acoustic dosimeter to reset incorrect jumper and gain settings so that proper acoustic levels can be recorded.  [The dosimeter has exhibited low readings that are attributed to improper jumper and gain settings internal to the instrument as it was delivered from the factory. They are currently set to read values between 80 and 140 decibel (dB), which are higher than the current levels on-orbit. Bill s task was to change the gain by +40 dB by modifying jumper settings, enabling the dosimeter to read from 40 to 100 dB instead.]

As new standard early-morning task, FE Valery Tokarev checked 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 next year.]

Also working off his voluntary “time available” task recommendation list, the Flight Engineer was to continue looking for a power supply unit (BP) for the Russian SKV air conditioner, reported as “lost” in the IMS (Inventory Management System).  [Due to the unstable operation of SKV-2, TsUP/Moscow plans to have its BP replaced in case of SKV-2 failure.]

The Science Officer reviewed CBT (computer-based training) material for the upcoming FOOT (Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight) experiment activities, which will commence tomorrow with a dry run of the EMG (Electromyography [electric muscle currents recording]) calibration exercises to be performed during every FOOT data collection. The first of four days of wearing the measurement hardware is planned for the following week.  [Hardware required for tomorrow s dry run includes handrails, handrail equipment anchors (HEA), a long-duration foot restraint, and handrail extender assemblies. FOOT measures the actual forces an astronaut experiences during a day on orbit, including exercise, and compares them to what would be experienced on Earth.]

At ~9:30am EST, McArthur conferred with ground specialists on the SSC (Station Support Computer) A31p reconfiguration activities scheduled for tomorrow, going through the list of items required from stowage for the job.

The new Russian experiment DZZ-11 Volni ( Waves ) continues its automated operation at SM window #3, to run until its termination on 1/6.  [Volni monitors and documents Earth natural resources & ecology data, using the French LSO equipment and two micro cameras installed on a mounting bracket at the window to observe wave disturbances (of natural and man-made origins) in the intermediate-altitude atmosphere. The images are transferred between the French EGE1 and EGE2 laptops for downlink via the BSR-TM channel. The original objective of LSO was to study rare optical phenomena occurring in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, so-called “sprites” (i.e., puzzling glow phenomena observed above thunderstorm clouds). The payload uses the French EGE-1 laptop running the latest NORAD orbital parameters (TLEs, two-line elements) provided by NASA.]

Bill completed the periodic (once per month) routine inspection of the RED (resistive exercise device) with canister cords and accessory straps as well as the canister bolts for re-tightening if required.

The FE performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU), while the CDR 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 CEVIS cycle ergometer (part of Bill s PFE today), 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, 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.

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

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 yesterday, 2:31pm EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 348.2 km
  • Apogee height — 355.5 km
  • Perigee height — 341.0 km
  • Period — 91.50 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010829
  • Solar Beta Angle — 8.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 100 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40710

Events Ahead (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.