Russian freighter resets space station orbit

Moscow, Feb 23 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The engines of a Russian Progress M-17M space freighter were fired to re-adjust the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS), a Russian space agency spokesman said.

As a result of the manoeuvre, the ISS orbit was raised by approximately one km.

After the re-boost, the space station’s mean orbital altitude stood at 409.7 km, 406.6 km at the perigee and 423.1 km at the apogee.

Adjustments to the station’s orbit are carried out regularly to compensate for the Earth’s gravity, to facilitate the docking and undocking of spacecraft and to dodge space junk.

Every day, the station loses average 100 metres of its altitude.

This time, the orbit re-adjustment is expected to create the best conditions for the undocking of a Soyuz TMA-06M manned spacecraft.

The Soyuz TMA-06M will bring Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin, as well as NASA astronaut Kevin Ford back to Earth March 15.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

pm/

IANS