Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 March 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
March 7, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 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. 

After wakeup and before breakfast and first exercise, FE Valery Tokarev and CDR/SO William McArthur completed their eighth session with the Russian crew health-monitoring program’s medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis.  Afterwards, the FE recorded data and stowed the hardware.   [MO-9 is conducted regularly every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for US crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the “PHS/Without Blood Labs” exam.  The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally for the Mir program. The data were entered in the Medical Equipment Computer (MEC)’s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

Later in the day, the FE unstowed and installed the equipment for the periodic Russian MO-10 “Hematokrit” testing, scheduled tomorrow for both crewmembers.   [MO-10 measures the hematocrit (red blood cell mass) value of the blood (it is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell mass {normal range: 30-45%} tends to go down over time).]

For Tokarev, most of today’s work centered on finalizing connections and initial connectivity testing of electronic components of the ATV PCE (Automated Transfer Vehicle/Proximity Communications Equipment, Russian: MBRL) temporarily installed in two Service Module (SM) lockers.  The PCE suite was connected via the SM cabling system (BKS) to the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry system for access by ground specialists, who supported the activities by tagup.  The actual ATV PCE detailed checkout is scheduled for tomorrow.   [This checkout is a retest of the ATV PCE checkout performed on 6/29/05 on Increment 11, but this time without a Progress docked to the SM aft port, which is believed to have caused interference during the last test.  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

For testing the video coverage of the Soyuz relocation on 3/20, the CDR configured the relatively new video-to-ground configuration that allows Russian segment (RS) TV downlinks via Ku-band assets in the U.S. segment (USOS).  Afterwards the supporting A31p laptop in the FGB was deactivated.  Another test is scheduled tomorrow.   [The single cable connection converts the Russian SECAM (PAL) video signal into an American NTSC video signal for downlink via U.S. Ku-band, using an SSC (Station Support Computer) A31p laptop in the FGB.  The configuration connects the SSC with the FGB’s SECAM video outlet panel on one side and the NTSC video cable through a U.S. AVIU (Advanced Video Interface Unit) to the Node’s ICP (Interface Control Panel) on the other side, and thus to the Lab Ku- band assets.  Due to the complexity of the procedure, this video routing test is being conducted prior to each docking, undocking, or Russian EVA.]

Also in preparation for tomorrow’s test activity on the Russian Klest KL-154 television camera system, McArthur updated the Photo/TV Generic book by printing out new uplinked procedures pages and replacing the old ones in the book with them.

On the freshly repaired MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer) in the Lab, McArthur connected the vacuum access jumper, performed MSA (Mass Spectrometer Assembly) vacuum chamber pump down, disconnected the jumper and activated the MCA.   [Yesterday, the CDR completed the MCA/MSA connector modification and connection successfully, straightening bent pins, cleaning sockets and re-reaming chamfers.  Later, MCC-H commanded the MCA on and received indication that a good connection was made.]

In the DC1 Docking Compartment, Tokarev collected the periodic readings on the MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor) radiation sensor reader display of the Matryoshka antroph-amorphous (human torso) “phantoms” located inside and outside the ISS.   [The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies.  Besides the Phantom Sphere containers in the SM, the human torso in the DC1 is equipped with individual horizontal slice-like layers with 356 thermoluminescent detectors (TLDs) and five nuclear radiation tracking detectors (NTDPs).  The mannequin is covered with a “poncho” and “hood” and used for studies of on-orbit radiation and long-term dose accumulation.  Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

FE Tokarev took photographs of the navigation receiver modules (NPM) of the Russian ASN-M satellite navigation system in the SM for the European ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle).   [Objective: to check how the units are connected to the BKS onboard cable network and how their bonding straps are attached.]

Valery performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU), and 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 did the daily 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 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 1 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 performed 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.]

Soyuz TMA-7/11S relocation:  Official date is 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.

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets, no longer limited in the current LVLH attitude, were Yellow River Delta (shooting left of track for this highly dynamic delta coastline.  Mapping swath was requested), Salamat Basin fans, Chad (shooting left of track for detail of cross-cutting channels on the basin floor.  The special interest of the area is the fact that the Salamat basin holds the largest single fan on the planet.  The neighboring Muglad basin, by contrast, is composed of eleven smaller megafans), and Snow, Atlas Mtns, Algeria (Dynamic event.  Thick snow has stopped vehicular traffic in wide areas of the high Atlas Mts.  Looking right along the spine of the mountain chain).

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, 7:47am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 347.1km
  • Apogee height – 352.8 km
  • Perigee height — 341.4 km
  • Period — 91.48 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.000846
  • Solar Beta Angle — 13.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 0.7
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 80 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 41713

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.