NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 September 2005

Status Report From: NASA HQ/SpaceRef/NASA Watch
Posted: Friday, September 30, 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.

Soyuz TMA-7/11S Launch: Station systems are ready for Expedition 12 arrival. The Russian State Board today gave approval for the Soyuz TMA-7 and ISS-12 prime & backup crews as well as for continued launch vehicle processing for filling and launch as scheduled, tonight at 11:54pm EDT (see picture of 11S crew and backup, below).

After crew wakeup at ~2:00am EDT, CDR Sergei Krikalev began the day with the regular morning inspection, today combined with the monthly routine checkup on DC1 circuit breakers and fuses.  [The monthly checkup in the Pirs Docking Compartment looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in Fuse Panels BPP-30 & BPP-36.]

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

Krikalev performed the third and last part of the current MBI-8 Profilaktika ("countermeasures") fitness assessment series, first with the usual blood tests (to determine lactate and creatine kinase levels in the blood with the AccuSport equipment), then by a physical exercise session on the TVIS treadmill, supported by tagup with a ground specialist. FE/SO Phillips was available as CMO (crew medical officer) to assist as required.  [The 23-min. TVIS test is identical to the MO-3 test performed on the treadmill in idling (non-motorized) mode with free choice of speeds within certain specified ranges (idle/walk/slow run/moderate run/fast run/walk/recovery). In addition to the nominal test procedure, MBI-8/Part 3 calls for the use of the TEEM-100M gas analyzer during the test, the blood lactate measurements, and subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels (using the Borg Perceived Exertion Scale, viz., 10 steps from very light over hard and very hard to maximum) during the test. At the end of the creatine kinase tests, the results were logged, copied from Cardiocassette-2000 recording to OCA for downlink, and reported to the ground via tagup.]

John Phillips deployed two passive FMK (formaldehyde monitoring kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (below CEVIS) and SM (most forward handrail), a periodic monitoring task to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis. (Last time done: 9/8).

The crew also conducted the periodic routine air sampling in the cabin. Phillips collected air samples at the centers of Lab and Service Module (SM) with the Dual Sorbent Tube (DST), which may have been damaged in the process. Later in the day, Krikalev used the Russian AK-1M sampler in the SM & FGB for air sampling and looking for Freon, followed by a check for CO (carbon monoxide) in the SM with the IPD-CO Draeger tubes sampler. (Last time done: 9/8).  [Comparison of pre- and post-arrival samples provides an understanding of gases brought on board by the visiting vehicles, such as 11S next week.]

The CDR conducted the periodic collecting of surface samples, for subsequent microbial analysis in the biosample ( bioproby ) kit of the Russian BTKh-11 "Biodegradatsiya (Biodegradation) experiment, as the FE photographed the sampling ops with the new Nikon D1X digital camera.  [For sampling locations the crew was free to select what appeared to them as the most contaminated surface areas.]

The FE performed the regular weekly maintenance reboot on the operational PCS (Portable Computer System) laptops and the bi-monthly restart of the OCA comm router SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop.

John also collected the periodic reading of the cabin air's current CO2 concentrations in the SM and Lab, using the U.S. CDMK (Carbon Dioxide Monitoring Kit, #1015), for calldown, along with its battery status, for use in trending analyses.

Krikalev completed the periodic replenishing of the Elektron s water supply for electrolysis, filling the KOV thermal loops EDV container with purified (deionized) water from the BKO multifiltration/purification column unit.  [The procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~20 mm from getting into the new BZh-8 Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown. In the procedure, the EDV water is carefully drawn from the BKO and the air/liquid separator unit (GZhS) while the crewmember checks for any air bubbles in the EDV (and, if visible, estimates their number, with up to 10 bubbles of less than 20 mm diameter permitted). Elektron water is also supplied from USOS condensate in a CWC (collapsible water container) that is checked for its contents of air bubbles and is rejected if the estimated total air bubble volume is more than 30 cubic centimeters (1 cm air bubble is about 0.5 ccm).]

Sergei and John worked on the Russian Kentavr (Centaur) garments, doing fit-checks and adjusting them for their individual sizes. The suits are kept in the Orbital Module of the Soyuz TMA until undock day. The activity was supported by a tagup with ground specialists via S-band.  [The Russian Kentavr garment is a protective anti-g suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity (see below). Sizing consists of adjusting lacing on the outer side of the shorts and on the inner side of the gaiters to achieve a tight fit.]

The crew conducted a tagup with ground specialists to discuss the new VC-9 experiment program of Visiting Crewmember Gregory Olsen, to arrive on 11S.

John and Sergei also tagged up with entry & landing specialists at TsUP/Moscow to discuss preparations and procedures for their return with Olsen to Earth on 10/10 (see below).

The FE set up the television connections in the SM for covering the docking with US assets. This includes hooking up the UOP DCP (utility outlet panel/display & control panel) power bypass cable at the CUP RWS (Cupola robotic work station).  [With the video available on an SSC (Station Support Computer) A31p laptop in "Zvezda", it can be routed via OpsLAN to the US segment and downlinked from there to MCC-Houston via Ku-band for subsequent transmittal to TsUP/Moscow. The TV set-up preps concluded with a downlink test of the configuration via Ku-band, after which the A31p was deactivated, with all cabling left intact until after the docking.]

John also disconnected the LTL (low temperature loop) jumper configuration used yesterday to support Metox (metal oxide) regeneration in the Airlock, which was successfully completed last night.  [Lab LTL temperature setpoint was returned to a nominal 11.1 degC.]

The FE worked on SSC A31p Client laptops to upgrade them with a Service Pack 02 patch to make their software compatible with the new PCS (Portable Computer System) load version installed recently on the A31p ThinkPads.  [The Service Pack upgrades Client version 10.01 to 10.02.]

Later, Phillips filled out the regular weekly FFQ (food frequency questionnaire), his 18th, which keeps a log of his nutritional intake over time on special MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) software.  [On the MEC, John is using his personalized file that reflects the food flown for his Increment. The FFQ records amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. IBMP (Institute of Biomedical Problems)-recommended average daily caloric value of the crew s food intake is 2200-2300 cal. If larger quantities of juices and fruits are taken into account, the value can go to 2400-2500 cal.]

Sergei performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM's SOZh environment control & life support system, including the ASU toilet system and today also the weekly inspection of the BRPK air/liquid condensate separator apparatus.  [Current ECLSS status: Vozdukh CO2 scrubber -- On (Auto mode); SKV-2 air conditioner -- On (alternating weekly with SKV-1); SRVK condensate water processor -- On; BMP harmful contaminants purification system -- On; Elektron O2 generator On in 24-amp mode (to be shut down before docking and reactivated on 10/5-10/6); ASU toilet -- MNR gas/liquid separator is suspect; CDRA CO2 removal unit Off.]

The CDR also prepared the regular daily IMS (Inventory Management System) delta /update file for automated export/import to the three IMS databases (MCC-H, TsUP, Baikonur), working off his discretionary time available task list.

At ~9:20am, Krikalev conducted his weekly IMS 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 included location of a BRP-M water sample container, stowage of drink bags for return on Soyuz, number of T-adapters used to transfer humidity condensate (KAV) to drink bags, etc.]

John Phillips completed his daily regimen of physical exercise on the TVIS treadmill and RED resistive exerciser. Sergei s exercise session today was accounted for by his MBI-8 Profilaktika fitness run on the treadmill. Afterwards, John transferred the exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink.

Subsequently, Phillips conducted the routine maintenance inspection of the RED device.

Both crewmembers continued the longer-term task of surveying and organizing their equipment in preparation for their departure on 10/10.

From his voluntary task list, Sergei performed the regular daily inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment, including filling its water canister for the Lada-7 greenhouse as required.

At ~4:05pm, the crew will have their 12th 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.

A software PPL (Prepositioned Load) with a new TCCS (Trace Contaminant Control Subsystem) air flow FDIR (Fault Detection, Isolation and Recovery) limit setting of 0.85 liters/sec was uploaded and activated.  [The current air flow rate to TCCS is 1.164 liters/sec. This PPL accommodates operation of TCCS during cabin pressure fluctuations and during simultaneous operation with the CDRA that shares an exhaust line.]

Yesterday afternoon, the externally mounted PCU-1 (Plasma Contactor Unit #1) was powered up in Discharge mode in support of an upper atmospheric survey by the Millstone Hill Incoherent Scatter Radar site in Massachusetts. The test was tentatively planned to end this afternoon.  [The data are expected to assist in understanding the physics of ISS charging and the interaction of the station structure with the ionosphere.]

Sleep Cycle Shift: For the Soyuz docking and subsequent handover period, sleep/wake cycle aboard the station will be shifted on 10/2 (Sunday) by moving bedtime from 5:30pm EDT to an earlier 1:00pm, followed by wake-up at 9:30pm (from 2:00am next morning), with sleep time on 10/3 at 3:30pm. The station day hours will then settle down to 3:30am 7:00pm for the rest of the E11/E12 transition period.

Today's CEO (crew earth observations) 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 Urumqi, China (this rapidly expanding oil-boom city in China s Far West is hard to detect: crew was to try obliques looking south of the mountain front. The city lies at the foot of a range. The CEO images will provide contextual views for more detailed images during the next LVLH attitude), Typhoon Longwang, Okinawa (looking left for this Category 4 storm, which has changed track slightly. It is now expected to impact Taiwan on Sunday. ISS passed a few degrees west of the storm so that a panorama was possible. Views looking more northerly may have yielded optimum results as shadows cast by late afternoon sun show up detail of the eye and embedded thunderheads), and the Stardust Site (sunglint opportunity for mapping any shallow water bodies in and around the Stardust landing area).

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 11 crew visit:

Expedition 11 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, 7:40am EDT [= epoch]): Mean altitude -- 348.7 km

  • Apogee height -- 349.9 km
  • Perigee height -- 347.5 km
  • Period -- 91.51 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0001728
  • Solar Beta Angle -- -52.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours -- 80 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 39225

Expedition 12/Expedition 11 Flight Timelines:

Soyuz 11S (Expedition 12+1; William McArthur, Valery Tokarev, Gregory Olsen):

  • Launch -- 9/30, 11:54pm EDT;
  • Kurs-A & Kurs-P short test (15 km) -- 10/3 (Mon.), 00:40am;
  • Soyuz TV activation (8 km from ISS) -- 00:47am
  • Flyaround -- 1:05-1:14pm;
  • Orbital Sunrise -- 1:10am
  • Start Final Approach from Stationkeeping -- 1:23am;
  • Docking -- 10/3 (Mon.), 1:32am EDT.
  • RGS Loss of Signal (LOS) -- 1:42am.

  • Soyuz 10S (Expedition 11+1; Sergei Krikalev, John Phillips, Gregory Olsen):
  • Undocking from FGB -- 10/10 (Mon., Columbus Day), 5:40pm EDT (undock command);
  • Sep Burn #1 (manual) -- 5:46pm;
  • Deorbiting Burn -- 8:21pm (4 min 23 sec; delta-V 115.2 m/s);
  • Landing before dawn -- 10/10 (Mon.) 9:08pm EDT; 7:08am (10/11) local Kustanai/Kazakhstan;
  • Sunrise at Kustanai landing site -- 7:47am local. [Note: Kazakhstan remains on Standard Time; thus: local time = GMT+5].

Other Upcoming Events (all times EDT):

  • 10/18/05 -- ISS Reboost
  • 11/18/05 -- Soyuz TMA-7/11S relocation (from DC-1 to FGB nadir port)
  • 12/21/05 Progress M-55/20P launch
  • 12/23/05 -- Progress M-55/20P docking.

What will the Soyuz TMA-6/10S crew (Exp. 11 + Gregory Olsen) experience during today s reentry/descent?

For the reentry, all crewmembers are wearing the Russian Kentavr anti-G suit.  [The Kentavr garment consists of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmember from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Russian crewmembers are also advised to ingest fluid-electrolyte additives, viz., three sodium chloride tablets during breakfast and after the midday meal, each time with 300 ml of fluid, and two pills during the meal aboard Soyuz before deorbit.]

Before descent:

Special attention will be paid to the need for careful donning of the medical belt with sensors and securing tight contact between sensors and body.

During preparation for descent, before atmosphere reentry, crewmembers settle down comfortably in the Kazbek couches, fasten the belts, securing tight contact between body and the seat liner in the couch.

During de-orbit:

Dust particles starting to sink in the Descent Module (DM) cabin is the first indication of atmosphere reentry and beginning of G-load effect. From that time on, special attention is required as the loads increase rapidly.

Under G-load effect during atmosphere reentry the crew expects the following experience: Sensation of G-load pressure on the body, burden in the body, labored breathing and speech. These are normal sensations, and the advice is to "take them coolly". In case of the feeling of a lump in the throat, this is no cause to "be nervous". This is frequent and should not be fought. Best is to "try not to swallow and talk at this moment". Crew should check vision and, if any disturbances occur, create additional tension of abdominal pressure and leg muscles (strain abdomen by pulling in), in addition to the Kentavr anti-G suit.

During deployment of pilot chute (0.62 & 4.5 square meters), drogue chute (16 sq.m.) and main chute (518 sq.m.) the impact accelerations will be perceived as a "strong snatch". No reason to become concerned about this but one should be prepared that during the parachutes deployment and change ("rehook") of prime parachute to symmetrical suspension, swinging and spinning motion of the DM occurs, which involves vestibular (middle ear) irritations.

It is important to tighten restrain system to fasten pelvis and pectoral arch. Vestibular irritation can occur in the form of different referred sensations such as vertigo, hyperhidrosis, postural illusions, general discomfort and nausea. To prevent vestibular irritation the crew should "limit head movement and eyes movement", as well as fix their sight on motionless objects.

Just before the landing (softened by six small rocket engines firing through the heat shield): Crew will be prepared for the vehicle impact with the ground, with their bodies fixed along the surface of the seat liner in advance. "Special attention should be paid to arm fixation to avoid the elbow and hand squat" (instruction). Landing speed: ~9.9 m/sec.

After landing:

Crew should not get up quickly from their seats to leave the DM. They were advised to stay in the couch for several mi <> nutes and only then stand up. In doing that, they should limit head and eyes movement and avoid ex <> cessive motions, proceeding slowly. They and their body should not take up earth gravity in the upright position too quickly.

E12 Crew w/backup crew at Baikonur today (9/30/05):

Sitting, from left: Olsen, Tokarev, McArthur (w/backup crew), 9/30/05:

Godspeed, 11S!

ISS Altitude History

Apogee height -- Mean Altitude -- Perigee 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

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