Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 December 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
January 3, 2006
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 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. Counting down to 2006!

With the Elektron oxygen (O2) generator still off and O2 being supplied from Progress 19 tankage as required, FE Tokarev serviced the Russian Harmful Impurities Removal System (BMP), starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. Before sleep time today, the bake-out will be terminated.  [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP currently still uses the same vacuum vent valve for regeneration as the Elektron (the latter for venting hydrogen).]

Yesterday s scheduled O2 repress was cancelled since pressure was still above the limit of 740 mm Hg. The repress was expected for today instead. These refreshes will continue on an as-needed basis until the reactivation of the Elektron, currently planned for 1/11/06.

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The crew completed the third and final day for the current renal (kidney) stone experiment session (the second for Expedition 12), with both of them collecting one final urine sample each in the morning, finishing their dietary/metabolic log entries and then stowing all equipment.  [This long-range preventive medicine investigation features regular daily ingestion of either potassium citrate or placebo tablets at dinnertime. It is a double blind research study by NASA/JSC, investigating statistically whether potassium citrate is as effective in zero-G in preventing formation of kidney stones as it is on the ground. The experiment requires keeping a metabolic diet log (food & fluid intake), followed by collection of urine samples several times per day during the three-day session, with collections ending today. There will be one more session during this Increment.]

The Flight Engineer set up for his 13th NOA (Nitric Oxide Analyzer) session in the DC1 and then conducted the weekly test, 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 experiment 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 measurements, Valery has 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.]

McArthur and Tokarev 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 Advanced Cardio Life Support (ACLS) in an emergency where crew life is at risk. (Last time done: 11/29)  [The drill focuses on deploying all ACLS-related equipment and treating the injured crewmember. The time to deploy the HMS kits is logged and reported to MCC-Houston.]

Starting a new round of monthly preventive maintenance on Russian segment air ventilation systems, the FE removed and replaced two dust filters (PS1 & PS2) in the Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok (FGB).

Later, Tokarev took the weekly cabin air data with the Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer system (GANK-4M) of the SM SOGS, which tests particularly for NH3 (ammonia) and HCl (hydrogen chloride).

Meanwhile, McArthur collected the periodic (weekly) reading of the cabin air’s current carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the SM and Lab, using the U.S. CDMK (Carbon Dioxide Monitoring Kit, #1015), to be called down for use in trending analyses, along with its battery status, taken after pump start-up,

The CDR unstowed two kits with CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation) isolators for verification and consolidation of used vs. unused isolators, then restowed the kits.

Valery had two hours reserved to prepare existing onboard ODF (operations data file) books with new procedures and updates delivered on 20P. [The updates, sometimes only one page, involve the books on Life Support System, SOGS Atmosphere Revitalization System, RSU Manual Controls, Science Experiments, Medical Experiments, Technical Experiments, Geophysics Experiments, Inflight Maintenance, etc.]

Bill had another ~2.5 hrs. reserved for conducting cargo transfer operations from Progress 20, supported by the IMS (Inventory Management System) for reference and update.

At ~7:00am EST, the FE conducted the weekly IMS tagup with specialists at TsUP/Moscow, discussing open issues concerning identification of equipment and storage locations for the IMS databases via S-band.  [Today s topics were concerned mainly with Progress M-55 unloading.]

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

McArthur filled out the regular weekly FFQ (food frequency questionnaire), his ninth, which keeps a log of his nutritional intake over time on special MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) software.  [On the MEC, Bill is using his personalized file that reflects the food flown for his Increment. The FFQ records amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. IBMP/Moscow (Institute of Biomedical Problems, Russian: IMBP Institute of Medico-Biological Problems) recommended average daily caloric value of the crew s food intake is 2200-2300 cal. If larger quantities of juices and fruits are taken into account, the value can go to 2400-2500 cal.]

Both crewmembers completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on the CEVIS, 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 2 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.

As new standard early-morning task, the FE 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.]

As is traditional for each year s end, the ISS crew conducted a live televised interactive New Year conference with Russian industry leaders and top management personnel from RSC-Energia and GCTC (Star City s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center) at TsUP-Moscow, via Ku-band/video and S-band/audio.  [For the event the crew was given several suitable comm windows on a number of RGS (Russian Ground Station) overflight passes.]

At ~11:05am, ISS attitude control authority was handed over to the Russian MCS (Motion Control System) for using its thrusters to maneuver the station from XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) to LVLH XVV (local vertical local horizontal/x-axis in velocity vector) at 11:13am. Control was returned to U.S. CMG (Control Moment Gyros) Momentum Manager at ~11:35am.

At ~1:30pm EST, Bill and Valery conducted their seventh regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Lead Flight Director at MCC-H and TsUP/Moscow via S-band/audio, with a phone patch between Houston and Moscow.

At ~2:15pm, the crew had their standard weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Kent Rominger), via S-band S/G (space-to-ground).

Working off his U.S. job jar task list, the CDR is in the process of wrapping up the periodic task of inspecting and cleaning hatch seals and hatch plate sealing surfaces in the U.S. segment, working on six hatches, viz.: Node (forward, aft & starboard), Lab (aft), and Airlock, in support of regular ACS (atmospheric control system) maintenance. These inspections are performed every 90 days as part of routine maintenance. (Last time done: 10/9)  [Hatch seals are lubricated with Braycote-601, which is also deposited on the sealing surfaces. Dust and particles (FOD, foreign object debris) can stick to the lubricant and to both seals and sealing surfaces. These are regularly inspected with a magnifying glass for FOD, nicks, burrs, cuts or gouges that would impair a proper seal, and are cleaned, as required, with brushes, dry wipes and Kapton tape.]

Yesterday, the crew encountered problems with connecting the wireless IMS BCR (Bar Code Reader) to the file server laptop. After several reboots, the problem was temporarily corrected but resurfaced today. Ground teams are investigating.  [One possible cause, under investigation, may be an RF (radio frequency) access point slowly degrading. A new omnidirectional RF antenna, delivered on Flight LF1, will replace the old flat direction antenna when it can be scheduled.]

The flexible air ducting between Progress 20 and the DC1 docking compartment tends to collapse partially despite crew efforts to stretch it open. The crew was instructed to turn the heater off but leave the fan on. According to Moscow, there is no spare ducting onboard.

In preparation for the planned installation of the new ROOBA (Recharge Oxygen Orifice Bypass Assembly) in the Airlock by CDR McArthur on 1/12, verification of ROOBA kit stowage location and review of the installation procedure were placed on his job jar list.

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observation) pre-maneuver photo targets, limited in 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 Fires, Texas, at night (Dynamic event. Numerous intense fires in Texas and Oklahoma should have made interesting night images. Soot was lofted above these fires in such quantity that it gave returns similar to rainfall on weather radar screens), Gulf Coast at night (looking left or right as ISS crossed the Gulf Coast. Overlapping of images could be crucial in allowing specialists to catalog any images), and Florida Keys at night (looking left for the string of lights along the Keys).

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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Real Time ISS TrackerMore Links

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 7:21am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 348.6 km
  • Apogee height — 356.0 km
  • Perigee height — 341.3 km
  • Period — 91.51 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010911
  • Solar Beta Angle — 21.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 164 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40658

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.