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December 01, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/01/09

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. First day alone for the two-member crew of CDR Jeff Williams (USA) & FE Maxim Suraev (Russia) until 12/23 when Expedition 22 members Oleg Kotov (Russia), Soichi Noguchi (Japan) and TJ Creamer (USA) arrive on Soyuz TMA-17/21S.

The two ISS crewmembers have an extremely rare full sleep/rest day today, reporting back to duty tomorrow morning at 1:00am EST, i.e., back on normal schedule.

Yest posadka! (We have Landing!) Welcome back home, Roman, Frank and Bob! After 187 days 20 hrs 41 min in space (185d docked to ISS), Soyuz TMA-15/19S, carrying the Exp-21 crew of Roman Romanenko (Russia), Frank De Winne (Belgium) and Robert Thirsk (Canada), landed successfully early this morning at 2:16am EST (local time 1:16pm) in the steppes of southern Kazakhstan northeast of the town of Arkalyk, with the crew in excellent condition. The descent capsule remained upright. [TMA-15 (#225) undocked from the FGB nadir docking port last night at 10:56pm EST. Before undocking, the crew performed leaks checks of the vestibule area between the FGB and the Soyuz spacecraft, of their suits and of the hatch between the Descent Module (SA) and Habitation Module (BO). The undock command was issued at 10:53pm. Three minutes after detachment, Soyuz performed a 15 sec separation burn. The actual de-orbit burn of 4 min 25 sec duration came later, at 1:26am, resulting in a 115.2 m/sec deceleration. Tri-module separation occurred at 1:50am, followed by atmospheric entry at 1:52:50am and nominal parachute deployment at 2:01am. Following initial observation by Russian SAR (Search & Recovery) personnel, the Soyuz vehicle landed at 2:16am. Due to sub-zero temperatures and low clouds in Kazakhstan, the normal SAR helicopters were grounded. Instead, two fixed-wing aircraft circled the landing site and communicated with the crew which was then carried by SAR personnel to Arkalyk in all-terrain vehicles. Later today, the crew will be brought by helicopter to Kustanai, and then be flown on the GCTC Tu-157 to Chkalovsky airfield of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center at Zvesdniy Gorodok (Star City).]

Conjunction Event: MCC-Houston FTC (Flight Control Team) dealt with another conjunction with a piece of space debris, from the Russian KOSMOS 2421 satellite (Object 33478), coming close to the ISS today at 1:19:38pm EST. NASA notification was too late for initiating DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) planning with Moscow. Due to the small size of the object (<10 cm), tracking it has been very difficult, yielding little data for a valid PC (Probability of Collision) estimate. But eventually tracking passes stabilized, showing PC to be so low (total miss distance: 949 m) that the crew did not have to move to the Soyuz TMA-16 escape vehicle as a precaution, and was not awakened.

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:54am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 341.1 km
Apogee height – 346.2 km
Perigee height – 336.1 km
Period -- 91.36 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007463
Solar Beta Angle -- -69.5 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 41 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 63232

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
12/02/09 -- Progress M-MRM2 (Poisk) PAO (Propulsion/Service Module) hooks open
12/07/09 -- Progress M-MRM2 (Poisk) PAO (Propulsion/Service Module)jettison – 7:16pm
12/21/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch -- O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/14/10 -- Russian EVA-24
01/20/10 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P launch
02/04/10 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 “Tranquility”+Cupola (~6:30am EST)
02/05/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P docking
03/18/10 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
03/18/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC (~1:30pm EST)
04/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 -- Progress M-03M/35P undock
04/28/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P launch
04/30/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P docking
05/14/10 -- STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1 (~2:00pm EST)
05/29/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/27/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch
07/29/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking
07/29/10 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) (~7:30am EST)
08/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P launch
09/02/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P docking
09/16/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) (~12:01pm EST)
09/18/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) docking
09/22/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) undock
09/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/26/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
10/27/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
10/29/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
11/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/15/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
02/08/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P undock
02/09/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P launch
02/11/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P docking
03/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 – Progress M-11M/43P launch
05/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

Note: The daily ISS On-Orbit Status reports can also be found at