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11:38 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
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Space Station’s Orbit Raised to Avoid Space Junk

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The Russian Mission Control said the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) was raised on Thursday by one kilometer to avoid a possible collision with space junk.

The Russian Mission Control said the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) was raised on Thursday by one kilometer to avoid a possible collision with space junk.

“The maneuver to adjust the station’s orbit lasted 406 seconds [about seven minutes]… The average height of the orbit was raised by one kilometer,” a spokesman for the Mission Control said.

He added that the readjustment was made using the thrusters of Russia’s Progress- M-16M spacecraft, docked with the station, and the maneuver will help to avoid a collision with US Iridium-33 satellite debris.

Adjustments to the station's orbit are carried out regularly to compensate for the Earth's gravity, to avoid collisions with space junk and to facilitate the successful docking and undocking of spacecraft.