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15:15 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
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Europe’s ATV-3 Spacecraft to Readjust Space Station’s Orbit

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Engines of the European Space Agency’s ATV-3 spacecraft will be switched on to readjust the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) on early Friday

Engines of the European Space Agency’s ATV-3 spacecraft will be switched on to readjust the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) on early Friday, a spokesman for the Russian Mission Control said.

“The operation is expected to start at 7:15 Moscow time [3:15 GMT]. The engines of the Edoardo Amaldi spacecraft, docked with the station, will remain switched on for 536 seconds and the average altitude of the station will be raised by two kilometers to 424.8 kilometers,” the spokesman said.

The maneuver will be carried out to ensure the best conditions for the landing of Russia’s Soyuz TMA-04M manned spacecraft in Kazakhstan on September 17 and the docking of the Soyuz TMA-06M manned spacecraft with the ISS, scheduled for October 15.

Corrections to the space station's orbit are conducted periodically to compensate for the Earth's gravity and to safeguard successful docking and undocking of spacecraft.

The previous correction of the station’s orbit was also carried out by the Edoardo Amaldi, docked with Russia’s Zvezda module, on August 22.