Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 December 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
December 11, 2005
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 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.   Another “full plate” for the crew today, which even included Greco-Roman Wrestling.  

The day started for McArthur and Tokarev with the first fire drill/OBT (on-board training) of their Increment, a mandatory periodic one-hour exercise specifically written for the current two-person crew.  Primary goal of this exercise is to provide the station residents with the most realistic emergency training possible.  The drill is always conducted with the support of both MCCs in close coordination.   [OBT objectives are to (a) practice fire response procedures (FRPs) and all incorporated actions for the case of a software-detected fire to locate, extinguish, and verify extinguishing attempts; (b) browse through RS laptop and the Signal-VM fire detection system displays as well as the automated software (algorithms) response to the fire event; (c) practice crew communication necessary to perform emergency FRPs;  (d) update the locations of support hardware (CSA-CP compound specific analyzer-combustion products, IPK-1M gas masks and OSP-4 fire extinguishers to be used for fire suppression in the FGB.  These exercises do not actually use any fire equipment but simulate such actions to the maximum extent possible.  After the OBT, a post-training debrief was to be prepared.]

CDR McArthur had four hours on his work schedule for the removal and replacement (R&R) of the fan of the Crew Health Care Systems (CHeCS) rack’s air conditioner (AAA/Avionics Air Assembly) in the Lab.   [The individual steps of this major IFM (In-Flight Maintenance) were: AAA power-down by ground-issued command, installation of a spare ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) coolant sampling tool to equalize pressure in the TCS lines (for minimizing any ITCS fluid loss when disconnecting the AAA), hooking up VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer) rear connections, and the actual AAA R&R.  VOA activation and checkout is scheduled for 12/12 (Monday).]

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Continuing the current round of monthly preventive maintenance on Russian segment (RS) air ventilation systems, FE Tokarev removed and replaced two dust filters (PS1 & PS2) in the Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok (FGB) and also cleaned the Docking Compartment (DC1)’s V1 & V2 fans and screens.

Afterwards, the FE continued the extensive audit of all SD1-7 lighting units and their power supplies in the RS (Service Module/SM, FGB, DC1), begun yesterday.  The health check of the 38 lamps consists of turning them on and checking their condition.  If required, failed units were to be replaced with spares.

The CDR continued the software upgrading of the five EXPRESS (Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station) racks (ERs), today loading the ER2 RIC (Rack Interface Controller) computer with the new Revision 4A software.   [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 conducted the periodic audit/update of the so-called Plug-In Plan in the RS, which lists the location of all plugged in hardware and their power outlets, showing their connectivity in the IMS (Inventory Management System) in a “parent-child relationship”.

The FE set up for his tenth NOA (Nitric Oxide Analyzer) session in the DC1 and then conducted the weekly test, afterwards dumping the measurements from the RSE laptop to the ground via the BSR-TM telemetry channel.   [Purpose of the new ESA VC9 payload 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 on the ISS and increased risk of decompression sickness.  The experiment sessions are being conducted once a week, with two NO measurements in the exhaled air (after rinsing out with Rodnik water) taken in each session through a bacterial filter. Today’s measurement ops were recorded in the Platon log and supported by ground specialist tagup via S-band.  To prevent skewing measurements, Valery has to prepare for the session by excluding food items containing nitrites and nitrates (such as in processed meat, assorted vegetables, stewed cabbage, etc.) from his diet for 24 hours before the weekly experiment.]

Using the U.S. CDMK (Carbon Dioxide Monitoring Kit, #1015), Valery Ivanovich collected the periodic reading of the cabin air’s current CO2 concentrations in SM and Lab for calldown, along with its battery status (taken after pump start-up) for trending analyses.

Bill took care of the regular bi-monthly reboot of the OCA (Orbit Communications Adapter) comm router SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop.

At ~5:30am EST, the FE conducted the 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 via S-band.   [Today’s topics concerned identification and verification of the whereabouts of 74 pieces of equipment left in the IMS after Progress 19 transfers, i.e., requiring updating.]

The CDR performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s environment control & life support system (SOZh), including its toilet system (ASU), and later also 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).

Both crewmembers completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer, TVIS treadmill, 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 4 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).

At ~1:35pm EST, the crew had their third standard weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Kent Rominger), via S-band S/G (space-to-ground).

At ~2:00pm EST, FE Tokarev downlinked a TV/PAO message of greetings to the participants of the Fourth International Greco-Roman Wrestling Tournament in Moscow, vying for the Moscow Eastern Administrative Prefect District Cup, from 12/5 through 12/12.   [“Sports means health, excellent poise, high spirits and a great opportunity to reach one’s potential…  We would like to express our special appreciation to the hosts of this tournament, Prefect Nikolai Nikolayevich Yevtikhiev and the Afghan War veterans of the Moscow Eastern Administrative District…”]

Also, at ~2:30pm, Bill and Valery conducted their sixth regular (nominally weekly) teleconference with the Lead Flight Director at MCC-H and TsUP/Moscow via S-band/audio, with a phone patch between Houston and Moscow.

Reconditioning activity on the P6 EPS (Electrical Power System) Battery Set 2B3 continues.   [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”).] 

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 Toshka Lakes, Southern Egypt (good glint pass for close documentation of lake size), Lake Chad, Chad (Dynamic event. Very clear conditions and a glint pass close to this lake, which has remained low for 35 years.  Shooting half right for seasonal documentation of lake size), and Salamat Basin fans, Chad (shooting left for an oblique view of much of the site.  Circular Lake Iro lies in the center of the site.)

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, 8:19am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 350.7 km
  • Apogee height — 357.1 km
  • Perigee height — 344.3 km
  • Period — 91.55 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0009498
  • Solar Beta Angle — -20.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 78 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40328

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.