Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 March 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
March 6, 2006
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 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.

Progress M-54/19P undocked this morning on schedule (5:06am EST) and performed nominal separation and deorbit burns for subsequent reentry over the Pacific Ocean.  This freed the Service Module (SM) aft port for the ISS reboost maneuver with the SM main propulsion system on 3/10 and the docking of Soyuz TMA-7/11S after its relocation from its current place at the FGB nadir port (~3/22, date under review).  [After undocking by spring force at ~0.12 m/s and subsequent sep burn, 19P passed ~1100m below the ISS at 5:30am (overtaking it), performed its deorbit burn (delta-V: 85.0 m/s) at 8:05-8:08am, and reentered the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean at ~8:41am in darkness.  For the undocking, ISS attitude control was handed over to Russian MCS (Motion Control System) at ~1:30am and returned to U.S. momentum management at ~5:35am, now in earth-fixed LVLH (local vertical/local horizontal). During the undocking itself, the station was in free drift for ~9 min.]

The crew monitored the undocking from the aft windows, and FE Tokarev took Nikon D1X digital photographs of the docking assembly/interface of the receding cargo ship through SM window #26 to verify that no rubber seals are missing and to assess seal integrity.

The FE also used the event for documenting it with the “Klest” KL-154 television camera with video recording on the LIV experimental video complex (EVK) in the SM (which uses SECAM format).   [Video was taken from 5:00-5:10am EST, activated and deactivated by the Russian SPP pre-programmed sequencer system.]


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

To observe the Progress reentry burn and the Earth’s limb for the geophysical spatiotemporal study of the radiation spectrum from the atmosphere and surface, Tokarev set up the GFI-1 Relaksatsiya (“relaxation”) experiment by configuring the Russian payload laptop 3 for the experiment and mounting the ultraviolet (UV) camera with spectrometer unit at SM window #9, with its cover open.   [Purpose of the session was spectrometric recording of the Earth limb (~7:40am), the 19P propulsion system plume (by UV-video) during the 5-min. reentry burn at 8:05am along with the emission layer of the atmosphere at the Earth’s limb during that period, and the actual reentry of the Progress at ~8:41am (which occurred in local darkness).  Afterwards, the FE tore down the experiment and stowed the equipment.]

Valery also prepared his 21st NOA (Nitric Oxide Analyzer) regular (non-EVA) weekly session in the DC1 Docking Compartment and then conducted the procedure, afterwards dumping the measurements from the RSE laptop to the ground via the BSR-TM telemetry channel.   [Purpose of the ESA VC9 payload ESANO1, consisting of the “Platon” analyzer and its power supply, is to monitor expired nitric oxide (NO) in the subject’s exhaled air to detect signs of airway inflammation and indications of venous gas emboli (bubbles) that may be caused by inhalation of pollutants on the ISS and increased risk of decompression sickness.  The test sessions are being conducted once a week, with two NO measurements in the exhaled air (after rinsing out with Rodnik water) taken in each session through a bacterial filter.  Today’s measurement ops were recorded in the Platon log and supported by ground specialist tagup via S-band.  To prevent skewing the measurements, Valery had to prepare for the session by excluding food items containing nitrites and nitrates (such as in processed meat, assorted vegetables, stewed cabbage, etc.) from his diet for 24 hours before the weekly experiment.]

CDR/SO William McArthur had another ~2 hrs. for hardware/equipment prepacking for ULF1.1/STS-121 (launch NET 5/12).  A 30-min. tagup with ground specialists followed at 8:10am via S-band/audio for a discussion of issues and Q&A’s concerning the prepack. 

For the upcoming testing of a number of PCE (Proximity Communications Equipment, Russian: MBRL) hardware of the ASN-M satellite navigation system for the European ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) “Jules Verne”, Tokarev gathered equipment and prepared two locker locations in the SM, panels #226 & #227) for the installation and testing.   [The MBRL components to be installed are the ATV control panel (PU), antenna switching control box (BUAP), and PCE Z0000 space-to-space radio “monoblock”.  The lockers were to be cleared of most all equipment for the duration of the testing.  Afterwards, the relocated contents will be returned to their original configuration.]

The FE also went on a search for four Orlan LP-9 lithium hydroxide (LiOH) canisters which the Expedition 11 crewmembers had stowed in the FGB.

McArthur completed the regular weekly maintenance reboot on the operational PCS (Portable Computer System) laptops.

Afterwards, the CDR had 2 hrs. set aside to make get-ahead preparations for the repair of the MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer) scheduled on 3/6 (however, a decision will be made later today whether or not to press with the R&R tomorrow instead of Monday).   [Today’s activities included gathering tools & materials, retrieving the MSA (Mass Spectrometer Assembly) from temporary stowage and securing it to the MWA (Maintenance Work Area), straightening the bent MSA P1 connector pins and cleaning out the MCA J6 sockets for mating the pins.  When the MCA, after the replacement of the MSA, still was not working, the cause was determined to be damage of the P1-J6 connector.  The repair will involve modifying the connection by providing extra length to reach the depressed J6 connector, fixing the pins and sockets, reinstalling the replacement MSA and then remating the J6-P1 connector.]

Bill also ran the daily atmospheric status check for ppO2 (Partial Pressure Oxygen) and ppCO2 (pp Carbon Dioxide), using the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen Sensor).  The Elektron oxygen generator continues to run smoothly, set at 24 amps.  ppO2 is at 22.3% (measured with the CSA-O2).   [Flight Rule upper limit: 24.1%.]

Working off his “time available” voluntary task list, Valery conducted the regular daily status check of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment, including recharging the water tank if required. [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

A second discretionary task remaining on Tokarev’s work list for today was the 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 CDR undertook the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU) and the weekly inspection of the air/liquid condensate separator apparatus (BRPK).  Bill 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).

At ~8:30am EST, the FE conducted the weekly IMS tagup with specialists at TsUP/Moscow, discussing open issues concerning identification of equipment and stowage locations for the IMS databases via S-band. [Today’s topics dealt with the number of pumping units for water transfer, type of equipment stowed behind SM panel 230, and location of a bag with failed BETA-08 biomed harness belts slated for return.]

The CDR worked on the faulty SSC-10 (Station Support Computer #10) laptop, replacing its “blind” (no-display) laptop shell #1004 with the equally “blind” laptop shell #1007 equipped with a new hard drive. SSC-10 is now the primary machine for KFX (K-band file transfer). [SSC-10, put into dedicated KFX service in November 2005, utilizes a laptop with a failed screen (a “blind” computer shell).  KFX has been experiencing intermittent accessibility issues since 1/4/06.]

At ~1:10pm EST, McArthur set up the Sputnik-SM Kenwood D700 amateur radio station in the SM and at 1:15pm conducted a 10-min. ham radio session with students at Hallyburton Elementary School in Drexel, NC. [Harry L. Hallyburton Elementary School is a rural North Carolina School of Distinction nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains surrounded by hills, valleys, forests, waterfalls and lakes.  The school serves a diverse population of students in grades 3-5 including a large population of Hmong, Laotian and Hispanic kids.  Questions to the crew were uplinked beforehand.  “What do you do on the ISS that will affect me or other kids now or in the future?”; “How do you keep up with the days when it is dark all of the time?”; “Can you see your hometown of Laurinburg, NC, from the ISS?”; “How do you brush your teeth? Since everything floats around up there, how do you get rid of all of the foamy toothpaste from your mouth?”]

Both crewmembers completed 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, the CDR 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).

Update on failed RPCM LA1B_F:   RPCM LA1B_F’s RPC-5 (Remote Power Controller 5) was commanded closed today by ground command to troubleshoot the cause of the RPC trip on 2/25.  It remained closed. Engineering continues to monitor its performance.   [The RFCA (rack flow control assembly) valve, controlled by RPC-5, remains in its last commanded state, allowing good ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) flow into the A/L.  Its valve can be manually positioned if necessary.]

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets, no longer limited in the current LVLH attitude, were Muglad Basin fans, SW Sudan (general views looking east  towards the Nile were requested, to show relationships of several megafans to controlling hard-rock margins along north side of the basin), and Florida Coastal Everglades (detailed images were requested of this Long Term Ecological Research [LTER] site).

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, 6:57am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 347.4 km
  • Apogee height — 353.0 km
  • Perigee height — 341.9km
  • Period — 91.49 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008217
  • Solar Beta Angle — 17.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 90 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 41650

Events Ahead (all dates Eastern & tentative):

  • 03/06/06 — Repair of MCA in US segment
  • 03/10/06 — ISS reboost (by SM main prop sys.; mnvr. back to XPOP after burn)
  • 03/16/06 — Airlock Campout SDTO (overnight)
  • 03/20/06 (under review) — Soyuz TMA-7/11S relocation (FGB nadir port to SM aft-end port)
  • 03/30/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S launch (Pavel Vinogradov/Russia, Jeffrey Williams/US, Marcos Pontes/Brazil, 9:29pm EST)
  • 04/01/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S docking (FGB nadir port, 11:11pm EST; mnvr. to LVLH XVV after dock)
  • 04/09/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S undocking (4:15pm EDT) & land (7:40pm); (mnvr. to XPOP after undock)
  • 04/18/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S relocation (FGB nadir port to SM aft end port)
  • 04/24/06 — Progress M-56/21P launch
  • 04/26/06 — Progress M-56/21P docking (DC1)
  • 05/03/06 — ULF1.1 launch (NET, not earlier than)
  • 06/15/06 — U.S. EVA (under review)
  • 06/19/06 — Progress M-55/20P undocking & reentry
  • 06/28/06 — Progress M-57/22P launch
  • 06/30/06 — Progress M-57/22P docking
  • 07/01/06 — 12A launch (under review)
  • 07/31/06 — Russian EVA-16 (under review)
  • 09/13/06 — Progress M-56/21P undocking & reentry
  • 09/14/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S launch
  • 09/16/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S docking (FGB nadir port)
  • 09/24/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S undocking & reentry
  • 09/28/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S relocation (FGB nadir port to DC1)
  • 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.