Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 February 2006

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

CDR/SO McArthur and FE Tokarev performed their sixth periodic (monthly) Russian biomedical assessment PZEh-MO-7 (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.]

Tokarev performed maintenance at the aft end of the Service Module (SM) Assembly Compartment (AO), tightening the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps at the SM side of the current docking port of Progress 19.

After RS (Russian segment) attitude control thrusters for U.S. CMG (control moment gyroscope) desaturation were inhibited (~10:00am EST, on DO [Daily Orbit] 11), with CMG control remaining active, Tokarev reconfigured RS audio for comm from the DC1 Docking Compartment, followed by a Progress-355/20P-to-DC1 interface leak check.  Afterwards, the crew opened the hatchway between DC1 and 20P, installed QD clamps, deactivated Progress and installed air ducts to improve ventilation.

Later, Valery completed 20P integration into SM systems by installing the standard US-21 matching unit in the cargo ship, a 1-hr. task, to enable the planned reboost test during next Saturday night.  An electrical connection test was conducted by TsUP-Moscow later during RGS (Russian ground stations) coverage on DO 14 (~2:50pm EST).  The comm system will subsequently be restored to nominal ops.   [The US-21 matching unit connects the SM with the Progress motion control and DPO thrusters systems, so that they can be commanded by the SM computer system (BVS).  After bolting the box down, the FE hooked it up with the telemetry (TM) connector to the BITS2-12 onboard TM system on Go from TsUP, after Moscow had inhibited data output to the VD-SU control system mode, powered off the BITS and deactivated the SKV-1 air conditioner. These systems were subsequently turned back on.]

In the U.S. Lab, CDR McArthur performed closeout ops on the ESA PromISS-4 (Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope) experiment.   [After removing the PromISS samples from their experiment box and photographing them, they were stowed in the PromISS-4 return container, which was then placed in the thermostatically regulated Russian KUBIK-AMBER incubator.  Afterwards, the PromISS hardware was removed from the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and the facility shut down.]

The FE meanwhile exchanged the PCMCIA memory card in the ALC laptop of the ESA/RSC-Energia experiment ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS), currently located in the SM, and dumped the spectrometer data for subsequent downlink via the OCA comm system. [ALTCRISS uses the ACT spectrometer employed by VC8 guest cosmonaut Roberto Vittori earlier this year in the DC1 for the Italian LAZIO (Low Altitude Zone /Ionization Observatory) experiment.  Progress 20 delivered a new Nomex shielding belt, containing polyethylene bricks and two new dosimeters in a dedicated pocket.]

CDR McArthur worked in the U.S. Airlock, performing maintenance activities on the EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) systems, centered on cycling the EMU SCOF (secondary oxygen package checkout fixture) valve to verify its function, plus starting (and later terminating) to scrub the EMU spacesuit cooling loops to prevent accumulation of contamination.

Continuing post-EVA cleanup, Valery removed the supplementary portable air repressurization bottle (BNP) from the repress line of the SM Work Compartment (RO), where he had installed it on 1/27 for EVA-15, and put it back in stowage.  He also started the discharge cycle on the third (reserve) 825M3 Orlan backpack battery.

Tokarev reconfigured the Russian RSE1 laptop and installed new uplinked software to allow its subsequent loading with the Windows XP operating system from a second installed hard disk drive (HDD).

The CDR performed the scheduled lens change on the EarthKAM system at the Lab science window, going from 50mm to the 180mm-lens configuration. The lens change had to be performed while EarthKAM (EK) was not taking pictures.   [EarthKAM was activated on 2/5 for the second of the two EK sessions scheduled for Expedition 12, with its main objective being to get students interested in math and science and to inspire this next generation of explorers.  This time, a total of 104 schools are participating from across the United States plus schools from Canada, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Belgium, Japan, and for the first time New Zealand.  For example, the Girls Exploring Engineering class at Clifton Middle School in Houston, TX, will be studying how the building of a new liquefied natural gas terminal on Quintana, TX, will be affecting the island.  Students at Kennedy Middle School in Natick, MA, will be using the images obtained in a joint social studies/science project.  They have just completed studying the expansion of the Islamic Empire and the Crusades and will be focusing their EK photos on western Asia, northern Africa, and Europe to study what the impact of landforms in these areas may have had on the crusades and expansion.  Other schools are studying coastline erosion, volcanoes, plate tectonics, deforestation, and areas affected by natural disasters, by comparing with images taken before these events.  A number of schools are even using EK to aid in their studies of the planet Mars: e.g., students from W.F. West High School in Chehalis, WA, will be studying canyons on Earth as part of a project that will compare them to the major canyon system on Mars, while students from Turtle Hook Middle School in Uniondale, NY, will be comparing their images of Earth to images obtained from previous Mars orbiters.  The payload runs without crew intervention, using a Kodak ESC 460C electronic still camera with 50mm or 180 mm lens, powered by 16Vdc from a 28 Vdc adapter, taking pictures by remote operation from the ground.  It is available for students who submit image requests and conduct geographic research.  The requests are uplinked in a camera control file to the IBM A31p SSC laptop which then activates the camera at specified times and receives the digital images from the camera’s storage card on its hard drive, for subsequent downlink via OpsLAN.]

The CDR performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh) and 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).

McArthur also completed the regular weekly maintenance reboot on the operational PCS (Portable Computer System) laptops.

Furthermore, Bill conducted the daily atmospheric status check for ppO2 (Partial Pressure Oxygen) and ppCO2 (pp Carbon Dioxide), using the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen sensor) and CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit).

The crew completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer, 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 2 of the first set).]

Afterwards, the CDR transferred the exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) 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).

FE Tokarev conducted his daily check of the operation of 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.]

Valery also had the regular daily status check of the BIO-5 Russian Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment on his discretionary task list. [Rasteniya researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-8 greenhouse.  The regular maintenance of the experiment (each Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) involves monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, topping off the water tank if ~20-25% of the total amount (4 liters) remains, and photo/video recording.  Once weekly, data from the Lada greenhouse control unit are recorded on floppy disk for weekly downlink via REGUL-Packet or the new BSR-TM at a suitable occasion

At ~10:20am EST, the crew set up the FGB’s amateur radio equipment (Ericsson VHF transceiver, headset, power supply) for an ARISS session and at 10:25am conducted a 10-min. ham radio exchange with students at Pine Ridge Middle School in Naples, Florida.   [The two schools which comprise the Collier County Public Schools NES (NASA Explorer Schools) Team, Immokalee Middle School and Pine Ridge Middle School, are 40 miles apart but joined through regular interaction of the NES Program.  “What advice would you give a young person who is nervous or unsure on how to follow their dreams about becoming an astronaut?”; “Does the ISS ever get hit by space rocks?”; “What would happen if something occurred to the ISS? Do you have some kind of back-up that would come and get you?”]


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

At ~1:10pm, the crew configured the television hardware for two interactive TV PAO events of about 10 minutes each starting at 1:30pm, first with KOMO-TV (Steve Pool) in Seattle, WA, and then with Men’s Health Magazine (Adam Campbell).   [This was another in-flight event aired live on NASA-TV and taped by the clients for later use, utilizing the new NASA Television Digital Satellite System.  In Seattle, the Seattle Museum of Flight, led by former Astronaut and now President and CEO Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, has helped connect KOMO-TV with the ISS crew via JSC/PAO.  Men’s Health is the largest men’s lifestyle magazine brand in the world, with 33 editions serving 40 countries.  In the US, it is published 10 times a year.  The interview with McArthur focused on exercise and cardiovascular conditioning aboard ISS in zero-G and on Bill’s recent (mid-January) efforts in running the half-marathon on the TVIS.]

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Salamat Basin fans, Chad (this pass approached from the NW in fair weather and good light.  Trying for a near-nadir mapping strip that takes advantage of sun glint to enhance surface water features), Pinacates Biosphere Site, Northern Mexico (using this morning light pass for a late-winter mapping of features in this volcanic landscape, with the long lens for detail.  Sun glint enhancements may have been possible), and Patagonian Glaciers (much improved weather was expected here following a strong frontal passage. ISS track was over the midsection of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Using the long lens settings and trying for detailed, near-nadir views of glacier features, especially the smaller, less accessible, and less-photographed one on the western side).

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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Real Time ISS TrackerMore Links

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 7:19am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 345.7 km
  • Apogee height — 351.8 km
  • Perigee height — 339.7 km
  • Period — 91.45 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.000899
  • Solar Beta Angle — -1.8 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 70 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 41288

Events Ahead (all dates Eastern & tentative):

  • 02/11/06 (overnight) — ISS test reboost (by 20P; maneuver to XPOP after burn)
  • 02/22/06 — ISS reboost (by 19P; mvr. back to XPOP after burn)
  • 03/03/06 — Progress M-54/19P undocking & reentry (mvr. to LVLH XVV after undock)
  • 03/10/06 — ISS reboost (by SM thrusters; mvr. back to XPOP after burn)
  • 03/30/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S launch (Pavel Vinogradov/Russia, Jeffrey Williams/US, Marcos Pontes/Brazil)
  • 04/01/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S docking (DC1; mvr. to LVLH XVV after dock)
  • 04/09/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S undocking & reentry (mvr. to XPOP after undock)
  • 04/16/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S relocation (DC1 to FGB nadir port)
  • 04/24/06 — Progress M-56/21P launch
  • 04/26/06 — Progress M-56/21P docking
  • 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)
  • 08/01/06 — 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 (DC1)
  • 09/24/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S undocking & reentry
  • 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.