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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 January 2006

Status Report From: NASA HQ/SpaceRef/NASA Watch
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2006

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SpaceRef note: This NASA Headquarters internal status report, as presented here, contains additional, original material produced by SpaceRef.com (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.

In the Russian segment (RS), Flight Engineer Tokarev conducted the second experiment session with the Russian/German TEKh-20 Plasma Crystal-3 (PK-3) payload.  [Immediately after wake-up, Valery again activated the PK-3/N turbopump in the Service Module s Transfer Compartment (SM PkhO) for maintaining a vacuum in the work chamber (ZB) in the SM Work Compartment (RO), then monitored PK-3 operations. At Experiment Start +~35-40 min, video recording began. The turbopump will be deactivated tonight. The experiment, running in automated mode, is performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber. Main objective is to obtain a homogeneous plasma dust cloud at various pressures and particle quantities with or without superimposition of an LF (low frequency) harmonic electrical field.]

 

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The FE performed Part 3 of his second onboard Profilaktika (MBI-8, Countermeasures ) preventive health maintenance fitness test series.  [Today s Russian fitness test was performed on the TVIS treadmill in unmotorized (idle) mode, with free choice of speeds within the range permitted. The test differs from the normal TVIS session by the use of the TEEM-100 gas analyzer, measurement of blood lactate level and subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels during the test. The lactate blood samples were taken twice at the end of the session, using the ACCUSPORT analyzer and REFLOTRON-4 accessories. Results were entered on a log sheet. TEEM and ECG (electrocardiograph) data were transferred to the Laptop 3, also on a tape cassette (Cardiocassette-2000), and prepared for later downlink via Regul-Packet comm. Results were also called down to specialists standing by at TsUP.]

The crew continued the external station survey with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) video cameras.  [The activities included inspections of U.S. CBMs (Common Berthing Modules) and ACBMs (Active CBMs), worksites for the upcoming Russian EVA-15, and the two IUAs (Integrated Umbilical Assemblies). Afterwards, Bill McArthur disconnected and removed the UOP DCP (utility outlet panel/display & control panel) bypass power cable at the Lab RWS (Robotics Work Station) that supported video camera ops, and the tape from VTR2 (Video Tape Recorder 2). Yesterday s and today s robotics operations also serve as an On-Board Training (OBT) session to maintain the Commander s proficiency.]

Using the Russian MO-21 Ecosfera air sampler & incubation equipment, Valery Tokarev monitored the station s sanitary-hygiene status by conducting another 40-min. microbial analysis (T+2 days) on the air samples collected on 1/10 [CHECK!!] and incubated since then in the MO-21 equipment.  [MO-21 determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.]

The FE set up for his 15th 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 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.]

Meanwhile, the CDR collected the periodic (weekly) reading of the cabin air's current carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the SM and Lab, using the U.S. CDMK (Carbon Dioxide Monitoring Kit, #1015), to be called down for use in trending analyses, along with its battery status, taken after pump start-up,

In the RS, Tokarev took the weekly cabin air data with the Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer system (GANK-4M) of the SM SOGS, which tests particularly for NH3 (ammonia) and HCl (hydrogen chloride).

The CDR worked on the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) in the Lab, drawing a standard sample of coolant fluid for a test for NH3, using test strips.

For his second MedOps WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool) session, CDR McArthur logged in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and performed the exercise on the laptop-based psychological WinSCAT experiment.  [WinSCAT is a time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR's, crewmembers or flight surgeons request.]

Tokarev worked on the VD2 air duct in the DC1, bringing up excess air duct length into an air duct box, securing the duct coils inside the box with duct tape, and taking pictures for ground inspection.  [The activity was intended to prevent bending and collapse of the air duct.]

The CDR completed the regular bi-monthly reboot of the OCA (Orbit Communications Adapter) comm router SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop.

McArthur also restowed the U.S. Airlock after yesterday s successful installation of the ROOBA (Recharge Oxygen Orifice Bypass Assembly) line.  [The ROOBA allows for unrestricted flow of Shuttle oxygen for all ISS users. This reduces ORCA (Oxygen Recharge Compressor Assembly) usage and eliminates the need for connecting the Orbiter ports or using ISS O2 for EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) purge operations during assembly mission EVAs. The ROOBA will be used during Flight ULF1.1.]

The FE performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM's environment control & life support system (SOZh) and the weekly inspection of the air/liquid condensate separator apparatus (BRPK). On the toilet system (ASU), Valery replaced the toilet's urine receptacle (MP) and filter insert (F-V), stowing the old units for disposal.

The CDR 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).

The Flight Engineer conducted a search for a power supply unit (BP) for the Russian SKV-2 air conditioner, reported as "lost" in the IMS (Inventory Management System), an assignment moved from the voluntary "time available" task list to Valery's regular schedule.  [Due to the unstable operation of SKV-2, TsUP/Moscow plans to have its BP replaced in case of SKV-2 failure.]

As new standard early-morning task, Valery 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.]

Both crewmembers worked out in 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.

The ground-commanded BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test) activity is continuing, taking time-lapse flash photography of BCAT sample 6 at the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) via EarthKAM camera and SSC-7 laptop. Later in the day, Science Officer conducted a check of the alignment and focus of the camera on the sample and position of flash. The imaging is to continue for 21 days (until 1/26).

At ~1:40pm EST, the crew is scheduled for their standard weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Kent Rominger), via S-band S/G (space-to-ground).

At ~2:20pm, Bill and Valery will conduct their eighth regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Lead Flight Director at MCC-H and TsUP/Moscow via S-band/audio, with a phone patch between Houston and Moscow.

At 4:40pm, ISS attitude control authority is to be handed over to RS MCS (Motion Control System) thrusters, which will maneuver the station at orbit noon (4:49pm) from "bow"-forward LVLH XVV (local vertical local horizontal/x-axis in velocity vector) to side-forward LVLH YVV (y-axis in velocity vector) attitude. Control then returns to U.S. CMG (Control Moment Gyroscope) momentum control at ~9:05pm.

During yesterday s U.S. ITCS (Internal Thermal Control Systems) transition from dual loop to single loop LT (Low Temperature), a false alarm was annunciated for an MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) ammonia (NH3) leak. Nominal configurations were restored.  [The CDR, acting as per his emergency training, donned his PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus), manually annunciated toxic atmosphere alarm and closed the Node hatch. Ground controllers were immediately able to determine that there was no leak and informed the crew that they could stand down. The CDR s PBA will be replaced by a fresh unit. Another lesson learned and an excellent validation of emergency training procedures.]

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 Navassa Island reef, Caribbean (weather was predicted to be mostly clear over the reef for high-resolution mapping. Looking slightly to the left of track for the reef. High-resolution imagery is used to track changes to the reef condition and morphology over time), Fires, south-central USA (Dynamic Event. Looking to the right of track as ISS passed over eastern New Mexico for smoke plumes from brush fires. Visible areas with potential activity include northeastern/eastern Texas, and Oklahoma), and Internal waves, South New Zealand (a clear weather slot was predicted over South Island).

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 http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/station/timelines/

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 Tracker - More Links

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 2:14am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude -- 347.4 km
  • Apogee height -- 354.7 km
  • Perigee height -- 340.3 km
  • Period -- 91.49 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0010748
  • Solar Beta Angle -- -40.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours -- 70 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 40875

Events Ahead (all dates Eastern; tentative):

  • 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 Altitude -- Perigee height

ISS Altitude History

For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see http://www.hq.nasa.gov/osf/station/viewing/issvis.html. In addition, information on International Space Station sighting opportunities can be found at http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/ on NASA's Human Spaceflight website. The current location of the International Space Station can be found at http://science.nasa.gov/temp/StationLoc.html at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Additional satellite tracking resources can be found at http://www.spaceref.com/iss/tracking.html.

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