Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 March 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
March 6, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 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.  Underway: Week 22 for Expedition 12.

CDR/SO William McArthur and FE Valery Tokarev performed their seventh periodic (monthly) Russian biomedical PZEh-MO-7 assessment (calf volume measurement) and PZEh-MO-8 (body mass measurement), using the specially designed mass measurement device (IM), later disassembling it for stowage.   [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference points, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures.  For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM “scales” measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants.  By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.]

McArthur worked successfully on the MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer), performing the exacting repair of the damaged multi-pin connector between MSA (Mass Spectrometer Assembly) and MCA.  A checkout indicated good connection.  Tomorrow, the CDR will connect the vacuum access jumper, perform pump-down and complete MCA activation.   [The IMF (inflight maintenance) involved straightening of bent P1 (MSA) pins, cleaning out J6 (MCA) mating sockets, and – as a late addition to the tasks – repairing the chamfer (conical slope) of the dielectric insulation around the socket holes with a drill to improve pin alignment during mating.  Afterwards, the replacement MSA was installed and the J6-P1 connector remated.]

FE Tokarev meanwhile installed electronic components for the scheduled end-to-end testing of the ATV PCE (Automated Transfer Vehicle/Proximity Communications Equipment, Russian: MBRL) in two Service Module (SM) lockers, along with the necessary cable connections.  The activities were supported by ground specialist tagup.   [The installed MBRL components are the space-to-space radio “monoblock” (PCE Z0000), the antenna switching control box (BUAP), and the ATV control panel (PU). The lockers were temporarily cleared of most all equipment for the duration of the testing.  Afterwards, the relocated contents will be returned to their original configuration.]

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


The FE also opened two SM panels (#418/#425) to take situational photographs of the spaces behind them, intended to help clarify procedures for the upcoming routing and installation of a new Elektron hydrogen vent line (the old dump valve being failed).   [Panel 418 will be the location where the vent line enters the vacuum valve filter 2 (BVKF2) and other metal line hoses are to be arranged.  Panel 425 covers the metal H2 hoses between the RPD pressure differential regulator (equalization unit) and the ZLVK-2 hydrogen vent valve toward the BMP micropurification unit inlet valve.  Because of the failed vent valve, the BMP currently still uses the same vacuum vent valve for regeneration as the Elektron (the latter for venting hydrogen), i.e., BMP can only be regenerated with Elektron turned off.]

McArthur performed 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).

At SM window #3, Valery set up and activated the Russian experiment DZZ-11 Volny (“Waves”) for another run, after updating it with the latest NORAD orbital parameters.  The experiment will run automatically for three days and will be deactivated and torn down on 3/8.  The activity was supported by ground tagup via S-band/VHF.   [Volny 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 McArthur conducted another periodic atmospheric status check for ppO2 (Partial Pressure Oxygen) and ppCO2 (pp Carbon Dioxide), using the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen Sensor).

Both crewmembers completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on the CEVIS ergometer cycle, 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, the CDR 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).

Working off his discretionary “time available” task list, Tokarev completed his 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.]

Also on Valery’s voluntary list for today was the daily status check of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment.   [Rasteniya researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-8 greenhouse.]

At ~10:05am EST, the crew held their periodic teleconference with the next ISS crew (Expedition 13).   [These exchanges are performed every other week, for about 30 minutes, to pass on the lessons learned to the upcoming Expedition Crew.  Purpose: to begin the handover process prior to the arrival on orbit through videocons and data exchanges between the current crew and the upcoming crew. These tagups start normally toward the end of the first month on orbit.]

Soyuz TMA-7/11S relocation:  Official date is now set for Sunday night, 3/19 (eastern), as reported today by RSC-Energia/Moscow.  11S will be flown by the crew from its current docking/ port at the FGB to the SM aft-end port.  A test firing of 11S thrusters at 3/10 will precede the maneuver.  The planned ISS reboost with the SM main propulsion system, required to be done before 11S relocation, is tentatively scheduled for 3/15, with a final decision due on 3/13.

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.

ISS Location NOW

Full Size/Update

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 5:00am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 347.2 km
  • Apogee height – 352.9 km
  • Perigee height — 341.5 km
  • Period — 91.48 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008466
  • Solar Beta Angle — 13.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 5.1
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 98 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 41696

Events Ahead (all dates Eastern & tentative):

  • 03/07&08/06 — Testing of ATV PCE (proximity communications equipment)
  • 03/08/06 — SSRMS proficiency training
  • 03/09/06 — FOOT experiment session; disassembly of ATV PCE
  • 03/10/06 — Soyuz 11S thrusters hot test
  • 03/15/06 — ISS reboost (by SM main prop sys.; mnvr. back to XPOP after burn)
  • 03/20/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S relocation (FGB nadir port to SM aft 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.