Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 January 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
January 9, 2006
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 January 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.  Off-duty day for the crew because Russian Orthodox Christmas this year fell on Saturday, 1/7. Also: Today the crew is celebrating their 100th ISS day (going by Greenwich Mean Time), and Week 14 is getting underway for them.

FE Tokarev tagged up with ground specialists at TsUP/Moscow to discuss the upcoming activities of the new Russian/German TEKh-20 Plasma Crystal-3 (PK-3) Plus science payload.  [The experiment will be performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles, charged and excited by RF/radio frequency power, inside an evacuated work chamber where they are studied in various modes and with various RF-discharge power levels, pressures, and quantities of particles. The experiment will run in automated mode. Main objective is to study dust plasma crystallization processes at a specified power of HF (high frequency) discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles with subsequent reduction of HF discharge power, then to observe melting of the structures formed earlier.]

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

The ground-commanded BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test) activity continued taking time-lapse photography of BCAT sample 6 at the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) via EarthKAM camera and SSC-7 laptop. Later in the day, CDR/SO McArthur conducted a check of the alignment and focus of the camera on the sample and position of flash.  [BCAT-3 operations were postponed from November when the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) was not available due to the VOA (Volatile Organic Analyzer) in-flight maintenance, and are now being resumed. BCAT-3 studies the physics of surface crystallization and fluids at the critical point, using the remote-commanded EarthKAM equipment to allow for more frequent, automated photography of samples, to study the changes in the colloids following mixing. These changes serve as a model for the physical process that occurs when fluids are at the critical point and have properties of both liquids and gasses. By photographically capturing the evolving ordered interface between two disorderly colloid fluids (which in gravity remain in an amorphous glassy due to sedimentation and jamming but have been shown to form big, beautiful highly ordered crystals from disordered samples in zero-G), some basic questions could be answered about self-organization of particles (atoms) in the absence of gravity and about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The problem for the Science Officer was how to set up camera and flash just right to obtain useful images of the still mysterious process.]

As new standard early-morning task, FE Valery Tokarev checked 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.]

Also still showing on Tokarev s voluntary “time available” task list was the search for a power supply unit (BP) for the Russian SKV air conditioner, reported as “lost” in the IMS.  [Due to the unstable operation of SKV-2, TsUP/Moscow plans to have its BP replaced in case of SKV-2 failure.]

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

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 4 of the first set).]

Afterwards, McArthur 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.

At ~11:40am EST, the crew used the Sputnik-SM Kenwood D700 amateur radio station in the SM to conduct a 10-min. ham radio session with students at Peterson Elementary School in Red Springs, North Carolina.  [Peterson Elementary School has approximately 654 students of very diverse ethnic backgrounds. The school is located in Robeson County, a rural farming area. How would you describe a Shuttle takeoff? ; Do germs live in space? ; What qualifications does your job require? ]

Progress 19 oxygen (O2 was used yesterday for a 6.0 mmHg refresh of the cabin atmosphere. In addition, the Vozdukh CO2 scrubber was changed to Mode 5, with a resulting drop in CO2 levels. Current ppCO2 levels are 4.0 mmHg in the U.S. and 2.2 mmHg in the SM.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked today.

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, 11:05am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 347.7 km
  • Apogee height — 355.0 km
  • Perigee height — 340.4 km
  • Period — 91.49 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010833
  • Solar Beta Angle — 17.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 77m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 40818


  • 01/09/06 — 100 days for Expedition 12
  • 02/02/06 — Russian EVA-15
  • 03/03/06 — Progress M-54/19P undocking & reentry
  • 03/22/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S launch (Exp. 13 + Marcus Pontes/Brazil)
  • 03/24/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S docking (DC1)
  • 04/01/06 — Soyuz TMA-7/11S undocking & return (Exp. 12 + Marcus Pontes)
  • 04/06/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S relocation (DC1 to FGB nadir port)
  • 04/09/06 — Progress M-55/20P undocking & reentry
  • 04/10/06 — Progress M-56/21P launch
  • 04/12/06 — Progress M-56/21P docking
  • 06/28/06 — Progress M-57/22P launch
  • 06/30/06 — Progress M-57/22P docking
  • 09/12/06 — Progress M-56/21P undocking & reentry
  • 09/13/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S launch
  • 09/15/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S docking
  • 09/23/06 — Soyuz TMA-8/12S undocking & reentry
  • 09/28/06 — Soyuz TMA-9/13S relocation (DC1 to FGB nadir port)
  • 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.