Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 October 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
October 8, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 October 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.

In preparation for the Soyuz TMA-9 (13S) relocation on 10/10, Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin supported a ground-commanded checkout of the Soyuz motion control system (SUD, Mode 2/”Docked”) which included pressurization of the Combined Propulsion System (KDU) section 2 and tank 2, a test of the pilot’s translational hand controller (RUD), and a hot firing of the DPO braking thrusters. KDU maneuver thrusters were not fired. [For the test, station attitude was handed over to Russian thruster control at 12:45pm EST, commanded to free drift, then back to LVLH XVV (Local Vertical Local Horizontal/x-axis in velocity vector) attitude. The one-minute firing started on Daily Orbit 14 at 12:55pm. Attitude control was later (1:20pm) returned to the U.S. segment (USOS).]

After setting up the video equipment for taping his subsequent MedOps activities, CDR Lopez-Alegria, assisted by FE-1 Tyurin, undertook his first general U.S. PFE (Periodic Fitness Evaluation), a monthly 1.5-hr. procedure to check up on blood pressure and electrocardiogram (ECG) during programmed exercise on the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation) in the Lab. Readings were taken with the BP/ECG (blood pressure/electrocardiograph) and the HRM (heart rate monitor) watch with its radio transmitter. [BP/ECG provides automated noninvasive systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements while also monitoring and displaying accurate heart rates on a continual basis at rest and during exercise.]

In conjunction with the standard PFE, Mike LA also completed a more advanced fitness check using the relatively new (3 months) OUM (Oxygen Uptake Measurement) equipment on the HRF-2 (Human Research Facility 2) rack to obtain measurements according to protocol, with Thomas Reiter acting as OUM-PFE operator. Afterwards, LA restowed the video gear. [Later in the day, the evaluation protocol was updated, the gear deactivated and stored and the OUM-PFE laptop powered down.]

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

LA and Misha conducted the periodic standard tests and checkouts on the RSP (Respiratory Support Pack) and the CMRS (Crew Medical Restraint System). [The RSP is designed to “breathe” for an incapacitated crewmember in the event of a respiratory health event on board ISS. The ironing-board-like CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) CMRS allows strapping down a patient with a harness for medical attention by the CMO (Crew Medical Officer). CMRS can be secured to the ISS structure within two minutes to provide a patient restraint surface for performing emergency medical procedures, such as during ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support). It can also be used to transport a patient between the station and the Orbiter middeck when the Shuttle is docked. It isolates the crew and equipment electrically during defibrillations and pacing electrical discharges, accommodates the patient in the supine zero-G positions, provides cervical spine stabilization and, for a three-person crew, can also restrain two CMOs (crew medical officers) during their delivery of medical care.]

FE-2 Reiter continued the ESA/Astrolab LDM (Long Duration Mission) experiment SKIN, initiated yesterday, by doing another daily application of the experimental cream to the skin of his arm. [Background, see Status 10/5.]

Reiter set up for his seventh (of 13 planned) biweekly NOA/Nitric Oxide Analyzer session and undertook the procedure, later downlinking the measurements from the RSE1 laptop to the ground via the BSR-TM telemetry channel. [Purpose of the ESA experiment 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 in the closed environment of the ISS cabin and increased risk of decompression sickness.]

Tyurin had an hour reserved for preparing Soyuz TMA-9 for next week’s relocation by transferring remaining cargo from the spacecraft to the ISS, with IMS (Inventory Management System) database logging.

The two Flight Engineers joined forces on the LDM Astrolab educational experiment DVD-4 Demo, with Thomas focusing on robotic demonstrations (ROBoT) and Mikhail filming footage that will be used to produce a DVD lesson for use by teachers and their students aged 12-18 years across ESA member states. [DVD-4 continues a pedagogical series of lessons initiated on previous ESA missions.]

The FE-2 worked on the ESA/RSC-Energia experiment ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS), ascertaining the size of the recorded data on the ACT spectrometer’s PCMCIA memory card by temporarily removing it and inserting it into the RSE1 laptop for “reading”, then changing out the card. [ALTCRISS uses the ACT spectrometer employed by VC8 guest cosmonaut Roberto Vittori last year in the DC1 for the Italian LAZIO (Low Altitude Zone/Ionization Observatory) experiment.]

Thomas also had an hour scheduled for troubleshooting the ALTEA (Anomalous Long-Term Effects on Astronauts) payload in its CNSM (Central Nervous System Monitoring) mode, for which he had loaded reconfigured software to the ELC4 (EXPRESS Rack 4 laptop) on 9/27. [Purpose of ALTEA is to define and measure descriptors for the electrophysiological brain functioning and to follow their dynamics, correlating it with space environments. This involves CNSM measuring sessions by a crewmember wearing a helmet for a 32-channel EEG system, plus long-term unmanned real-time particle flux dosimetry (DOSI mode) inside the ISS using six particle detectors (originally introduced on Mir). The planned CNSM “helmet sessions” could not be performed as yet due to a data transfer problem with the previous software. ALTEA has to date operated only in its unmanned DOSI mode.]

Afterwards, Reiter cleaned and disinfected used MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) facility dewars after they had enough time to reach ambient temperature after powerdown.

LA performed the periodic atmospheric status check for ppO2 (Partial Pressure Oxygen) and ppCO2 (pp Carbon Dioxide), taken readings of the CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) datalogger and using the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen Sensor) and CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit). [CSA-CP measurements were gathered at the SM Central Post, CSA-O2 (#1042, #1063) in the Lab, and CDMK (#1009) in SM and Lab.]

The FE-1 conducted the routine daily maintenance of the SOZh (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) system in the SM, including the ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables and the weekly inspection of the BRPK air/liquid condensate separator apparatus.

Mikhail also worked on the newly upgraded IMS to update/edit its standard “delta file”, including locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

The CDR had two hours reserved for performing a comprehensive inventory & stowage audit of personal crew provisions.

Thomas brought the ESA experiment CULT up to date by filling out its “cultural” questionnaire on the RSE1 laptop. [CULT is a study conducted currently by Russia for ESA. The multi-Increment investigation, which eventually will involve 12 subjects, including Thomas Reiter, is dedicated to the study of cultural aspects and different leadership styles of on-board crews as a function of mission duration, including interactions within multinational crews. Results from this experiment may provide valuable recommendations on how to interact with future multinational crews. The questionnaire is contained on a PCMCIA memory card, to be used for all subjects and sessions.]

Mike LA set up an ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) coolant jumper connection in preparation for the upcoming CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) activation.

Later, the CDR performed the regular bi-monthly reboot of the OCA (Orbit Communications Adapter) comm router.

As all new station crews, LA, Misha and Thomas had one hour set aside on today’s schedule for ISS familiarization and adaptation, to help in adjusting to their new surroundings and activities. [This unstructured and discretionary session has become a valuable standard requirement for new station occupants for the first two weeks.]

All crewmembers completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR), TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-2), RED resistive exerciser (CDR), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1, FE-2).

Afterwards Mikhail transferred his, LA’s and Thomas’ exercise data files to the MEC for downlink, as well as the daily wristband HRM data of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

At ~4:40am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~7:20am, Tyurin linked up with TsUP stowage specialists to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing open issues concerning transfer details, stowage locations and bar code identifications for the IMS (Inventory Management System) databases via S-band. [Issues discussed today involved operational specifics of the new IMS version on board, 22P unloading and transfers, amount and storage location of accumulated trash, etc.]

At ~4:05pm, the crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at MCC-Houston.

Early this morning, starting at 2:00am and running for seven hours, MCC-Houston and its Moscow support group (HSG) conducted another BCC (Backup Control Center) dry run in test mode, with no involvement of the ISS crew or vehicle. [Purpose of this periodic exercise is to demonstrate BCC functionality under Russian assets while providing proficiency training for HSG personnel at the HSR (Houston Support Room) and TsUP-Moscow specialists. The ISS EMCC (Emergency Mission Control Center), located in Russia, comprises TsUP/Moscow as the Lead Control Center, coupled with HSR at TsUP. The BCC facility provides a command and control capability from TsUP if the EMCC must be activated. This is the case in situations that render MCC-Houston unable to provide telemetry, voice, and command capability for extended periods. EMCC is also used when the threat of severe weather results in evacuation of the MCC-H building for extended periods. In such an emergency, both Russian servers (CMD/command & TM/telemetry) are transitioned from MCC-H connectivity to BCC configuration, after which only the BCC can connect to the CMD and TM ports. An actual contingency requiring switchover to the BCC occurred on 10/2/2002 when Hurricane Lili forced MCC-H to shut down at 4:00am EDT, and also last year during the Hurricane Katrina emergency.]

The Russian solar array efficiency test was completed successfully yesterday in X-POP attitude, consuming 48.1 kg props.

Update on CMG-3: Control Moment Gyroscope 3 remains out of the attitude control steering loop due to elevated vibrations observed on 9/29. Tests on CMG-3 bearing dynamics were performed last night and this morning, by rotating the inner and outer gimbals at different speeds. No vibration spikes or any discrete steps in SMCC (Spin Motor Commanded Current) were observed during these tests. Forward plan is to return CMG-3 to the steering function next Tuesday (10/10) after Soyuz relocation for additional data gathering.

Update on ISS Atmosphere: Due to the recent (10/4) failure of an Elektron control panel, which blew a fuse, the scheduled troubleshooting could not be completed. Other potential troublespots are a valve solenoid and the BSSK Command & Signal Matching Unit. Necessary replacement hardware would be delivered on 23P, at which time Elektron troubleshooting will continue. Until then, ppO2 is maintained with oxygen represses from US Airlock HPGT (High Pressure Gas Tank) storage. Vozdukh is operating nominally in manual mode 5, and ppCO2 is stable at an average value of 5.18 mmHg.

Update on Soyuz TMA-9 relocation: Soyuz activation on 10/10 will be at 8:20am EDT. Soyuz/SM hatches closing comes at 11:00am, followed by leak check. ISS will maneuver to LVLH undocking attitude at 2:05pm, later to free drift at 3:10pm. Soyuz 13S undocking (physical separation) is then scheduled for 3:14pm. The spacecraft will back off the SM aft end by about 25-30 m, perform stationkeeping until about 3:20pm, then rotate in yaw by 90 deg and translate forward, flying laterally, “under” the ISS, until reaching the second stationkeeping point 25-30 m in front of the FGB nadir hatch. Docking will then follow at about 3:39pm (should docking have to be aborted, Progress 22P would be separated from the DC-1 port to make room for Soyuz contingency docking). After docking ops, there will again be a 1-hr. leak check. Hatches to the FGB will be opened at ~1:30pm, followed by QD (quick disconnect) clamps installation (to rigidize the interface), FGB ingress, activation of manual control assets in the RS (laptops, control panels), etc. After 13S deactivation, the crew will reconfigure station comm to nominal mode, reopen hatches to the USOS (Node & Lab) and reconfigure the station’s OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network). During the flight, three ETVCG (External TV Camera Group) cameras will cover external views of the ISS, especially the new P4 port SAW (Solar Array Wing) tip and its motion for subsequent photogrammetric evaluation of structural dynamics, such as actual damping (as opposed to math model values), and fundamental bending frequencies. Using the imagery from two cameras, structural effects can be analyzed in four dimensions (time + 3 axes).

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo target, from the Lab nadir/science window, was High Central Andean Glaciers (the glaciers of the High Central Andes are smaller than their counterparts in Patagonia and it is this smaller size that apparently is causing dramatic change. Some scientists believe that mass imbalance could cause these glaciers to disappear in the next decade. Their size coupled with their location makes this a challenging target. Looking to the north of Lake Titicaca for these small glaciers. The weather in this region looks better than usual so clouds should not have been a problem).

To date, over 250,000 of CEO images have been taken in the first six years of the ISS, about 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 14 crew visit:

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 Orbit (as of this morning, 7:26am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 340.0 km
  • Apogee height — 348.8 km
  • Perigee height — 331.2 km
  • Period — 91.33 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0013112
  • Solar Beta Angle — 23.8 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.77
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 91 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 45071

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern and subject to change):

  • 10/10/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S relocation (from SM aft to FGB nadir, undock 3:14pm; redock 3:39pm; on NASA TV from 2:45pm)
  • 10/23/06 — Progress M-58/23P launch
  • 10/26/06 — Progress M-58/23P docking (SM aft port; on NASA TV)
  • 11/22/06 — Russian EVA-17
  • 12/07/06 — STS-116/12A.1 launch
  • 12/09-16/06 — STS-116/12A.1 docked mission w/ISS – P5 truss
  • 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)
  • 01/22/07 — US EVA-6
  • 01/26/07 — US EVA-7
  • 01/31/07 — US EVA-8
  • 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)
  • 02/22/07 — STS-117/13A launch – S3/S4 trusses
  • 02/24-03/03/07 — STS-117/13A docked mission w/ISS (earliest)
  • 3/08/07 — 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)
  • ??/??/07 — Soyuz TMA-10/14S relocation (SM aft port to FGB nadir port)
  • 06/11/07 — STS-118/13A.1

SpaceRef staff editor.