Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 5 January 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
January 6, 2006
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 5 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.

Before breakfast, CDR/SO McArthur performed the 24-hr. data registration of the acoustic dosimeters (two body-worn, one static) deployed yesterday. Readings will again be taken tonight before sleep time, after which Bill will deactivate and stow the dosimeters at ~2:30pm EST.  [Before turning the dosimeters back on, their batteries were changed out. The dosimeters were then statically deployed for approximately 12 hrs in specified locations.]

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FE Tokarev continued his work on setting up and activating the European/Russian Matryoshka-R Phantom experiment, an antroph-amorphous model of a human torso designed for radiation studies.  [The activity, supported by ground specialist tagup, requires equipping the torso s individual horizontal slice-like layers with 356 thermoluminescent detectors (TLDs) and five nuclear radiation tracking detectors (NTDPs). The mannequin was then to be reassembled, covered with poncho and hood and installed in the DC-1 Docking Compartment for studies of on-orbit radiation and long-term dose accumulation. The installation was to be photo-documented. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nestling dolls.]

The Science Officer began work on the BCAT-3 (Binary Colloid Alloy Test 3) experiment, setting up the videocam for recording the activity, configuring the experiment on the Lab MWA (Maintenance Work Area) with the SSC-7 (Station Support Computer 7) laptop for running the EarthKAM still camera, initializing the sample (#6) and kicking off the first photography session (at ~11:20am EST). The imaging is to continue for 21 days (until 1/26).  [BCAT-3 operations, postponed from November when the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) was not available due to the VOA (Volatile Organic Analyzer) in-flight maintenance, are now being resumed. BCAT-3 studies the physics of surface crystallization and fluids at the critical point, using the ground-commanded (via regularly uplinked camera control file) EarthKAM equipment to allow for more frequent, automated photography of samples, to study the changes in the colloids following mixing. These changes serve as a model for the physical process that occurs when fluids are at the critical point and have properties of both liquids and gasses as these colloids do. By photographically capturing the evolving ordered interface between two disorderly colloid fluids (which in gravity remain in an amorphous glassy due to sedimentation and jamming but have been shown to form big, beautiful highly ordered crystals from disordered samples in zero-G), some basic questions could be answered about self-organization of particles (atoms) in the absence of gravity and about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The problem for the Science Officer is how to set up camera and flash just right to obtain useful images of the still mysterious process.]

CDR McArthur conducted the weekly audit/inventory of the available CWCs (collapsible water containers) and their contents, to keep track of onboard water supplies.  [Updated cue cards based on Bill s water calldowns are sent up every other week.]

Bill also performed the daily routine maintenance of the Service Module (SM)’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU), and later updated/edited the standard IMS (Inventory Management System) delta file , including locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

The CDR was thanked for his successful job yesterday of reconfiguring the U.S. OpsLAN SSC (Operations Local Area Network Station Support Computer) laptops.  [The task involved installing new batteries, power supplies and cables, brought up on Progress 20, on the OpsLAN File server, SSC-5, SSC-4 and SSC-7 laptops to upgrade them to a certified configuration. Additionally, Bill configured two A31P shells with failed display backlight as a dedicated SSC Router and a K-band File Transfer (KFX) machine.]

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.]

Also continuing as a reminder for Tokarev on his voluntary “time available” task list was the search for a power supply unit (BP) for the Russian SKV air conditioner, reported as “lost” in the IMS.  [Due to the unstable operation of SKV-2, TsUP/Moscow plans to have its BP replaced in case of SKV-2 failure.]

Both crewmembers worked out in 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 4 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.

At ~1:00pm EST, the crew downlinked a TV message to MCC-H on the occasion of NASA s upcoming Day of Remembrance. This day, the final Thursday in January (this year 1/26), commemorates and honors the fallen heroes of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia and all of those who have given their lives in the cause of exploration and discovery.

Fluid quantity in the U.S. ITCS MTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Moderate Temperature Loop) accumulator, which has been monitored carefully, decreased approximately 0.5% in 10 days.  [Since this is a larger rate than what is considered nominal for that amount of time, the CDR will disconnect ER1 (EXPRESS Rack 1) tomorrow, as data review indicates this could be the source of the small leak. ITCS will remain in dual loop for at least an additional seven days to monitor accumulator quantity.]

Yesterday, ground controllers successfully uplinked PPLs (pre-positioned loads) for the #1 and #2 MDM (multiplexer/demultiplexer) computers on the S1 truss segment. Today the same procedures were executed without problems on the two MDMs of the P1 truss segment.  [The command sequences reset setpoints for heaters controlled by the MDMs such that the chance of both heater elements in a heater patch to cycle on at the same time is minimized. Since this is not allowed (to protect the heaters), until now only one heater in the patch had been enabled.]

Early this morning smoke detector #9 (SD9) in the SM gave a false annunciation, which returned to normal state one minute later. Yesterday and today, the crew worked in this area of the SM, and TsUP-Moscow considers the most probable cause to have been dust particles in the air.

The missing hardware for the ESA PromISS (Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope) experiment has still not been found.  [The fresh PromISS samples that arrived with Progress 20 are safely stored in the thermostatically regulated Russian KUBIK-AMBER incubator, set at +22 degC.]

Current station flight attitude is LVLH XVV (local vertical local horizontal/x-axis in velocity vector), to be maintained until 1/13 next week.

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Sobat fans, SE Sudan (looking to nadir and leftwards of track for a mapping swath of overlapping images of this remotest part of Africa), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (looking a touch right of nadir for the city), and Pilcomayo River dynamics, Northern Argentina (looking at nadir and leftwards of track for stream patterns on the toe end of the largest fan on the planet. Mapping swath of overlapping images was requested. The Pilcomayo is interesting for another reason: its own sediments absorb its discharge so that this large river fails even to reach the trunk river of the basin [Paraguay River].

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 this morning, 7:37pm EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 348.0 km
  • Apogee height — 355.3 km
  • Perigee height — 340.8 km
  • Period — 91.50 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010807
  • Solar Beta Angle — 0.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 73 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40752

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.