MOSCOW, February 22 (RIA Novosti) - The engines of a Russian Progress M-17M space freighter were fired on Friday to readjust the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS), a Russian space agency spokesman said on Friday.
“The space freighter’s engines were started as scheduled, at 14:34 Moscow time [10:34 GMT]. As a result of the maneuver, the ISS orbit was raised by approximately 1 km,” the spokesman said.
After the re-boost, the space station’s mean orbital altitude stood at 409.7 kilometers (254.6 miles), 406.6 kilometers (252.6 miles) at the perigee and 423.1 kilometers (262.9 miles) 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 meters (328 feet) of its altitude.
This time, the orbit readjustment 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 on March 15.
Updates with information about the station's orbital altitude in para 3, 4