Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 April 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
April 6, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 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 5 of joint Exp.12/Exp.13 operations. Day 186 days in space (184 aboard ISS) for Expedition 12, with 3 days to go.  Also: Day 2693 since first ISS launch (FGB/Zarya), and 1980 days of cumulative crew time aboard ISS.

After wake-up at the current regular time (3:30am EDT), FE-12 Valery Tokarev’s regular morning inspection today included the routine inspection of DC1 circuit breakers and fuses.   [The monthly checkup in the “Pirs” Docking Compartment looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in Fuse Panels BPP-30 & BPP-36.]

Afterwards, Tokarev terminated the Russian IMMUNO experiment by collecting the last urine sample and storing it in the Cryogem-03M cooler.   [IMMUNO required undergo stress testing with questionnaire response, saliva sampling, venous blood work and urine collections, with log entries of meal, fluid and medication intakes on a record card.]

Closing out the IMMUNO protocol, Valery Tokarev took the post-experiment air samples with the IPD-NH3 Draeger tubes, testing for NH3 (ammonia) near the ASU toilet facilities.

With the Elektron still off (O2 represses being performed from Progress 20 stores, today by approximately 9mmHg), CDR-13 Pavel Vinogradov 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, and Elektron will be turned on again tomorrow. [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).  Replacement of the Elektron’s external vent valve (at a different location) has been deferred to the next Russian EVA (#16).]

Both crews worked another busy schedule of ISS-12-to-ISS-13 handover activities, which continued to go well.

As part of handover activities, Tokarev and Vinogradov performed the monthly recharging of the Motorola-9505 Iridium satellite phone.    [The crew members retrieved it from its location in the Soyuz TMA-7/11S descent module (BO) and initiated the recharging of its lithium-ion battery, a 30-min. process.  The charging was monitored every 10-15 minutes as it took place, and upon completion Tokarev returned the phone inside its SSSP Iridium kit and stowed it back in the BO’s operational data files (ODF) container.  The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry and landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown.  The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials.  During the procedure, the phone is left in its fluoroplastic bag with open flap.]


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

Valery and Pavel also handled the routine task of taking two photos of the FGB nadir port’s docking cone, used for the recent Soyuz TMA-8/12S 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, the crew used the Kodak 760 digital still camera to take two pictures each with the hatch closed down and downlinked them later via OCA.]

Preparatory to the upcoming Soyuz departure and descent (Saturday), Tokarev activated the three-channel gas analyzer (GA) in the Soyuz TMA-7 spacecraft.

As is standard procedure for each ISS crew handover, CDR-12 Bill McArthur and FE-13 Jeff Williams conducted an SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) proficiency session.  After the U.S. crewmembers had connected the UOP DCP (utility outlet panel/display & control panel) bypass power cable at the Lab Robotics Work Station (RWS) and closed the Lab science window cover for protection, they jointly reviewed the computerized DOUG (dynamic operations ubiquitous graphics) model and then had ~90 minutes for performing the Robotics exercise, consisting mainly of capturing and releasing the PDGF-1 (Power & Data Grapple Fixture 1), after which the arm was returned to its normal protected/clearance position.   Later the DCP bypass power cable was disconnected again.   [The objective of the DOUG Robotics operations was to allow the Expedition 13 team to become familiar with the behavior of the MSS (Mobile Service System) on orbit.  DOUG is a software program on the MSS RWS (Mobile Service System/Robotics Workstation) laptops that provides a graphical birdseye-view image of the external station configuration and the SSRMS arm, showing its real-time location and configuration on a laptop during its operation.]

FE12 Tokarev conducted the periodic (currently daily) 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.]

Pavel and Valery terminated the regular processing of condensate water (KAV) for the Elektron oxygen generator, started yesterday, using the electric condensate pumping unit (BPK) of the Russian water processing system (SRV-K2) behind SM wall panels and US-collected water in CWC (collapsible water container) #1042.

Valery performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including regular replacements in its toilet system (ASU), plus the weekly inspection of the air/liquid condensate separator apparatus (BRPK).  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).

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).

Pavel Vinogradov worked on the TVIS (treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization), adjusting its SLDs (subject positioning devices) for use with his TVIS harness.

Vinogradov also conducted the daily status check of the KUBIK-1 and KUBIK-2 refrigerators.   [NKA (Natural Killer Cell Activity) experiments are continuing with the remaining (non-leaking) containers.]

VC10 guest cosmonaut Marcos Cesar Pontes worked today on five of his Brazilian “Centenario” science experiments.   [Marcos set up CEM (Capillary Desiccator Functioning in Micro-g), then activated the experiment for its third, and later deactivating it.  He again performed documentary photography on GSM (Seed Germination in Micro-g), ran the fourth cycle of the MHP (Miniature Wire Heat Transfer Tube) payload, then performed the seventh & eighth NIP (Interacting Protein Clusters) experiment run, 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.  The Brazilian also set up and started the MEK (Effects of Micro-g on Fermentative Kinetics) payload, conducting the first experiment run.]

In the Airlock, Bill and Jeff terminated the charging of the first EMU battery and started the process on the second battery.

FE-13 Jeff Williams had 15 min. reserved for reviewing an uplinked summary of his training requirements with the CMS (Crew Medical Systems) physical fitness equipment during Increment 13.

Pavel dismantled the Russian Bioekologiya (Bioecology) payload and transferred it to the Soyuz TMA-7 for return to Earth.

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 treadmill, RED resistive exerciser and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer.

Afterwards, McArthur and Williams 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).

The SFP (Spaceflight Participant) performed the one-hour photo/video recording activities scheduled for his stay, with CDR13 Vinogradov operating the cameras to “shoot” Marcos.   [During the Photo / Video activity, the ISS CDR EXP13 & the Visiting Crew will have to perform the following activity according to their respective role: During the Photo / Video activity, the ISS CDR EXP13 & the Visiting Crew will have to perform the following activity according to their respective role: Fly-through of the ISS from end-to-end, filmed by another crew member, with SF) providing commentary in Portuguese, including explanations of the various facilities, experiments, docked Soyuz Phase, daily life; Camera focused on M. Pontes and then rotated (one horizontal, one vertical take), also on Brazilian flag on Marcus’ flight suit and on the Brazilian “Centenario” experiments; footage of the Soyuz crew and the Expedition crew, etc.  Still photographs are to be comparable in their targets.]

At 12:40pm EDT, FE12 Tokarev set up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Ericsson VHF transceiver, headset, power supply) for SFP Pontes to conduct, at 12:45pm a 10-min. ham radio exchange with students at the American School Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.   [Escola American do Rio de Janeiro is a K-12 institution that follows a traditional American curriculum.  The school offers a rigorous English-language education consistent with superior American public and independent schools, designed for students transferring into and out of other international and American schools and for those who must also meet Brazilian educational requirements.  Astronomy and communications are part of the curriculum of Escola Americana in different grades and subjects.]

At ~5:15pm EDT, the crew is scheduled to engage in an interactive audio PAO ship-to-ship call with the crew of the current undersea NEEMO mission (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) underway in the “Aquarius” underwater research facility.

At 6:17pm, Pontes is scheduled to take a 16-min call from Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva via IP phone,

McArthur and Williams performed additional transfers of Soyuz-delivered hardware into the US segment (USOS).

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

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 treadmill, 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).

ISS Location NOW

Full Size/Update

Update on CDRA:  The CDRA (CO2 Removal Assembly) failure that occurred on 4/3 was due to a known transient failure of the ASV-1 (Air Save Valve #1).  [MCC-H learned early on that the CO2 adsorbent material, Zeolyte, sometimes escapes from the sorbent beds during CDRA operations, so filters were installed during previous Increments to protect CDRA components from failure due to Zeolyte contamination.  These filters could not be installed on the ASV-1 interface because the couplings were too tight, so it is believed that Zeolyte particles jam the valve from time to time.  When this occurs, CDRA is operated using a single sorbent bed.  As the valve cycles in this mode, the debris breaks free, thus allowing us to resume normal dual bed CDRA operations. The CDRA has been operating nominally ever since the 4/3 failure.]

Update on Campout SDTO:   During the Campout SDTO (Station Development Test Objective) on 4/3, the MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer) was commanded, as per plan, to transition from Rapid Sample Mode to Autosequence Mode.  The PCS (Pressure Control Software), which was under test, apparently was “fooled” into thinking that the MCA was temporarily off-line; it therefore self-terminated and issued Caution messages erroneously reporting failed N2 and O2 introduction.  Other than that, good performance of the PCS was observed while the MCA was in Rapid Sample Mode, and good data on oxygen usage during Campout were obtained. Thus, the entire operation is judged to have been “largely successful and very educational.”  

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

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.

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.