Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 April 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
April 9, 2005
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 April 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. The Russian Cosmonaut Corps at GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center) in Zvezdniy Gorodok (Star City) today observes its 45th anniversary. Congratulations and thanks for leading the way!

After reconfiguring the EGE-2 laptop, FE Sharipov had another session with the European “Neurocog” experiment. Activities featured virtual rotation in free floating and fixed position “corridor” passages while recording EEG (electroencephalography). The session was supported by tagup with ground specialists. [Salizhan was equipped with the “Halley” head electrodes. After doing the virtual turns/corridor episodes in fixed state (subject strapped down) and free-floating in zero-G called for by the Neurokog protocol, he downloaded the EEG data to a PCMCIA memory card for subsequent return to Earth, and dismantled the equipment.]

The Elektron O2 generator remains off. Today Sharipov performed the second stage of the functional checkout of the spare liquid unit #6 (BZh-6). [The work focused on removal of gas bubbles in the fluid by pressurizing the BZh-6 capsule with nitrogen from the BPA (nitrogen purge assembly) and flushing the cavity of the primary micropump (MNO) via an external hookup. Later, the MNO was to be tested for performance and the hydraulic loop setup disassembled afterwards. A decision on the BZh-6’s further use is pending, but restart of nominal Elektron operation will not be attempted before 4/13 due to power concerns at the current Beta angle combined with scheduled battery cycling operations.]

CDR/SO Chiao spent time in the U.S. segment (USOS) with the regular periodic inspection of smoke detectors in the Lab (2), Airlock (1) and Node (2), as well as of the Airlock’s and Lab’s bacterial charcoal filters. Leroy also used the vacuum cleaner to clean the screens of the units.

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Chiao performed an IFM (in-flight maintenance) on one of the rotatable Lab racks (1S6), troubleshooting its upper attach mechanism using a new malfunction procedure developed on the ground.

The crew spent more time on preparing/pre-packing equipment for return to Earth, both on the Shuttle and on Soyuz TMA-5/9S. [A detailed 9S pre-pack list for US gear was uplinked, providing locations and packing instructions for items currently manifested for 9S return, including valuable fluid samples. A Soyuz packing list will be uplinked by TsUP/Moscow with the instructions for loading all items into the spacecraft. Progress will be reported to MCC-H via call-down during evening DPC (daily planning conference).]

During RGS (Russian ground site) passes last night, TsUP/Moscow transferred oxidizer (N2O4 or NTO, nitrogen tetroxide), from the 17P cargo ship’s propellant system to storage in the FGB module. [Monitored by MCC-M on Daily Orbits 16 and 1-4, the SM’s automated daily timeline sequencer (SPP) commanded transition to propellant transfer mode, then commenced NTO transfer from the BO1 & BO2 oxidizer tanks of Progress to the two BO tanks of the FGB via prop lines passing through the SM, lasting about 4.5 hrs. [Yesterday’s fuel transfer from 17P amounted to approximately 80 kg of UDMH.]

The video footage covering yesterday’s water transfer from 17P to the SM Rodnik system was downlinked today by the crew via S- and Ku-band.

The crew conducted their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser, and VELO cycle with bungee cord load trainer. [Salizhan’s daily protocol currently prescribes a four-day microcycle exercise with 1.5 hr on the treadmill and one hour on VELO (today: Day 3 of a new set).]

Leroy then transferred the daily 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, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium.

Later, Sharipov conducted his weekly IMS (inventory management system) tagup with specialists at TsUP/Moscow, discussing open issues concerning identification of equipment and storage locations for the IMS databases. [Issues under discussion include identification of a used LiOH cartridge, location of photo film with EVA-13 images, stowage of MBRL cable installation gear, available space in DC-1 or SM for BZh liquid unit (from Node) and Orlan 14 (from Airlock), logging of underwear and wipes, etc.]

Chiao prepared the regular IMS “delta” file for the daily automated export/import to the three IMS databases on the ground.

Working off the voluntary Russian task list, Salizhan performed the regular daily inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment, including filling its water canister as required. [Rasteniya researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-5 greenhouse.]

Also from his “job jar”, the FE conducted a new session with the “Uragan” (hurricane) earth-imaging program that had him focus the Nikon D1X digital camera with f400 or 800 mm lens from SM window #9 on the Volga River delta and basin target areas currently of great interest because of the expected spring flooding.

Leroy set up the SM’s amateur radio equipment and at 1:15pm engaged in a ham radio exchange with students at Flory Academy of Sciences and Technology (FAST) at Moorpark, California… [FAST is a K-5 Magnet School, NASA Explorer School, and California Distinguished School in Ventura County, CA, with an enrollment of currently 656 students.]

Update on CMG-3: To check the theory that low-frequency structural resonance events (disturbances) seen on US CMG and Russian gyros and accelerometers could be linked to crew exercise periods, Chiao and Sharipov were advised to assist in providing the necessary situational awareness. The originally planned CMG-controlled attitude maneuver back to standard TEA (torque equilibrium attitude) In LVLH was not performed, and the station will stay in the roll-biased TEA until after the Soyuz hot fire test on 4/14.

At ~3:00pm EDT, the crew is scheduled for the regular (nominally weekly) teleconference with the ISS Flight Director at MCC-H.

During a 5-min “window” this morning at 6:53am, researchers on the ground again conducted the European/Russian laser-beam experiment SPQR (Specular Point-like Quick Reference). [SPQR, installed at SM window #3 along with its Nikon D1X camera, tests a ground-based imaging system, using special optics and image processing, to determine the feasibility of detecting external damage to a spacecraft in orbit from the ground. It uses a pyramidal corner reflector (CCR, Cube Corner Reflector) at the SM window, to reflect a laser beam emitted by a ground station back to the ground. The crew was advised not to look out the portholes during the sessions, the times of which were uplinked, and there are no CEO targets scheduled during the brief sessions. The SPQR Hazard Report indicates that the laser power at the ISS remains well below the threshold for injury.]

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 Yangtze River Delta (smog and haze continue to plague eastern China, so the best views were near nadir. Mapping the delta region with the long lens, particularly the estuary and coastal areas), Shanghai, China (after mapping the Yangtze delta, the crew was to take advantage of this nice nadir pass over this mega city. With good light and weather they should have been able to use the long lens to continue mapping the urban areas), Lahore, Pakistan (lighting and weather were expected to be good for this nadir pass. Using the long lens for mapping), Nile River Delta (using this well-iluminated pass to map in detail the western flank of the delta where human activity continues to encroach on the desert. Good pyramid views were also there!), Labrador Sea (weather was marginal, but if it held off, good views with glint may still have been possible near and off the eastern end of the main island of Newfoundland), and Glacial features – South Libya (continuing to map this area with the long lens. The details investigators are looking for may have been too subtle to notice, but it is hoped that they will be detected with image enhancement techniques later).

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 10 crew visit:

Expedition 10 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.

Truly amazing view: Shuttle Discovery was spotted from the ISS during its rollout to Pad 31B on 4/6 and imaged digitally by Leroy Chiao with the 800mm-lensed DCS from 220 s.mi. altitude. Check 39B is left of 39A.

Upcoming Key Events:

  • Soyuz TMA-6 (10S) launch — 4/14 (8:46pm EDT); with Expedition 11 (CDR Sergei Krikalev, FE/SO John Phillips & VC8 cosmonaut Roberto Vittori/ESA-Italy); launch time at Baikonur: 6:46am on 4/15.
  • Soyuz TMA-6 docking — 4/16 (10:17pm EDT);
  • Soyuz TMA-5 (9S) undocking — 4/24 (2:38pm EDT) with Exp. 10 crew (after 193 days on orbit, 191 days on board ISS) and VC8 cosmonaut Vittori;
  • Soyuz TMA-5 landing — 4/24 (6:04pm EDT (Kustanai: 4:04am on 4/25) ;
  • LF1 (STS-114) launch — 5/15;
  • Progress M-53 (18P) launch — 6/10;
  • ULF1.1 (STS-121) launch — NET 7/12;
  • Progress M-54 (19P) launch — 8/24;
  • Soyuz TMA-7 (11S) launch — 9/27.

ISS Location NOW

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ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:51am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 356.4 km
  • Apogee height — 360.5 km
  • Perigee height — 352.3 km
  • Period — 91.67 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.000604
  • Solar Beta Angle — -37.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 135 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 36472

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.