Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 December 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
December 9, 2005
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 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.  

As part of regular maintenance of the Russian segment (RS) fire alarm system, the crew had three hours for working in the FGB module, dismantling its ten IDZ-2 smoke detectors for cleaning their ionizing needles, then reinstalling the devices.   [Afterwards, TsUP/Moscow commanded the FGB’s temporarily disabled fire detection system (SPOPT) back on.]

Also in the FGB, continuing the current round of the periodic preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, FE Tokarev accessed and cleaned the VT7 fan screens of the three SOTR (thermal control system) gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4).

CDR McArthur performed the upgrading of the ER-3 RIC (EXPRESS Rack 3/Rack Interface Controller) computer with the new Revision 4A software, using the previously prepared ELC1 (ER-1 Laptop Computer) for the uploading.  ERs -4 & -5 will be upgraded tomorrow, followed by ERs -2 & -1 on Friday.   [The new software improves ER payload water leg operations for future water-cooled payloads, such as EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System) and SpaceDRUMS (Space-Dynamically Responding Ultrasonic Matrix System).]

Valery Tokarev worked on the Russian SKV1 air conditioner, recharging it with Khladon coolant (Freon-218).   [For the procedure, the coolant bottle was first connected to the SKV1, followed by a leak check and then a brief activation of the air conditioner for the recharge of its heat exchanger (BTA) with ~700 grams of Khladon.]

Afterwards, the FE took the weekly cabin air data with the Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer system (GANK-4M) of the SM Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring system (SOGS).   [GANK tests particularly for NH3 (ammonia) and HCl (hydrogen chloride).]

The Science Officer performed his first EPO (Educational Payload Operations), setting up the camcorder and then videotaping a lecture about the solar panels of the ISS.   [The footage will be put to good use in NASA educational products, on websites, in schools, on TV, etc.]

McArthur also worked on the MWA (Maintenance Work Area), configuring the MISSE-3/4 (Materials ISS Experiments 3/4) clamp/pointer hardware with the protective collar assembly in preparation for its outside installation on EVA (Extravehicular Activity) during the next Shuttle mission (STS-121/ULF1.1).   [The collar prevents structural damage to the ISS as a result of the failure of friction to act as a load limiter.]

Bill performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its facilities in the toilet compartment (ASU), while Valery 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).

At ~1:35pm EST, the crew had a communications pass scheduled over NASA VHF (very high frequency) sites at Dryden and White Sands for another VHF1 emergency comm check, talking with Houston/Capcom, MSFC/POIC and Moscow/Glavni (TsUP Capcom) in the normal fashion via VHF radio from a handheld microphone and any of the U.S. segment ATUs (audio terminal units).   [The test was to verify signal reception, link integrity, and to ensure minimum required link margin during emergency events.]

Both crewmembers completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on the TVIS, 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 McArthur transferred the TVIS and RED exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, as well as the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data from the workouts, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

Reconditioning activities on the P6 EPS (Electrical Power System) battery set 2B3 continues.  The 24-hour hold following the first discharge cycle terminated early this morning, and the first recharging began at 1:15am EST.  The second discharge will start later this afternoon.   [Reconditioning will end on 12/11 (Sunday).  PPLs (Pre-Positioned Loads) will then be prepared based on reconditioning results and uplinked to the computers on 12/16.  A capacity test on 12/22 will conclude the activities.  Nickel hydrogen batteries can develop and display “memory loss” resulting in a temporary loss of capacity that should be periodically erased by cycling all material via fully discharging and charging cells (“reconditioning”).]

Yesterday’s scheduled gathering of tools and equipment for installing a ventilation fan (VKYu-1), its manual speed control unit (BRUS) and a sound-deadened air duct in the SM Crew Quarters was not completed, since some necessary items could not be located.  TsUP also agreed to perform an acoustic analysis on the consequences of the planned modification of a panel (which needs an opening cut for the fan and ducting).

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

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets, limited in the current 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 Ganges plain haze, India (Dynamic event.  Clear skies and high pressure continue to impose heavy haze conditions on the entire Ganges plain where airfields report visibilities between 1 and 2 miles.  Shooting obliques half left against the mountain front to illustrate thickness of the haze blanket.  Obliques are especially useful in revealing subtle but regional variations in haze density when subjected to image enhancement.  These patterns indicate source regions and transport patterns at different altitudes that are not imaged by other means.  Smog haze in the Third World is poorly understood), Toshka Lakes, Egypt (looking right for views of most of the lakes in the extensive new system freshwater lakes that has developed west of Lake Nasser.  Periodic monitoring of the lakes is performed.  Scientists are interested to know if the new trend will persist: images from last increment suggest that the multi-year phase of rising water levels is leveling off), and Hurricane Epsilon, Central Atlantic (Dynamic event.  This enigmatic storm with its big eye was predicted, with low levels of certainty, to decline to tropical storm strength by the time of the ISS pass.  One model however, is gaining strength, and suggests that Epsilon may continue at [near] hurricane wind speeds for three days more, putting it outside the experience of forecasters.  Epsilon is presently moving slowly S, before being predicted to move SW).

Some CEO Imagery Results:  Lake Poopo, Bolivian Andes.  This site has been thoroughly imaged, both in both general views and detailed images capturing the entire coastline.  The site is therefore retired from the list of active sites for this increment. The lake is following the trend of slow filling during inter-ENSO (El Niño) years (despite lying relatively near the Pacific Ocean, lake filling is out of phase with super aridity in the desert coastal areas).  The Coastal Everglades session recently cataloged had fairly complete coverage along the Florida Keys, and then a swath to the NE across the Everglades.  Overlap was generally good. This site will remain on the active list to take advantage of high sun angles.  Red River and Konza Prairie sites.  Preliminary imagery achieved for the former.  These near-neighbor sites will continue to be requested.  New Orleans-Slidell.  Detailed imagery of areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina are of high interest as capturing points in time, despite cloud obscuring much of each image.  Though not a formal site, this highly recognizable coastline should continue to be imaged, partly also to hone long-lens technique.

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, 7:28am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 350.8 km
  • Apogee height — 357.1 km
  • Perigee height — 344.5 km
  • Period — 91.55 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0009376
  • Solar Beta Angle — -30.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 84 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40296

Upcoming Events (all dates Eastern):

  • 12/20/05?? — Progress M-54/19P undocking & reentry (baseline date under review)
  • 12/21/05 — Progress M-55/20P launch
  • 12/23/05 — Progress M-55/20P docking
  • 01/09/06 — 100 days for Expedition 12
  • 02/02/06 — Russian EVA-15
  • 03/22/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S launch
  • 03/24/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S docking
  • 04/01/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S undocking & return.

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.