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Europe’s ATV-4 Spacecraft to Raise Space Station’s Orbit

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International Space Station - Sputnik International
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Specialists of Russia’s mission control center will adjust the International Space Station (ISS) orbit on Saturday by switching on thrusters of a European spacecraft.

MOSCOW, August 31 (RIA Novosti) - Specialists of Russia’s mission control center will adjust the International Space Station (ISS) orbit on Saturday by switching on thrusters of a European spacecraft.

“A maneuver to adjust the ISS orbit is scheduled for August 31, it is planned to be carried out by thrusters of Europe’s ATV-4 “Albert Einstein” resupply spacecraft docked with the station,” a mission control spokesman said.

The adjustment is scheduled to begin at 11:33 Moscow time (07:33 a.m. GMT) and will last about three minutes, giving the station a boost of 0.42 meters per second (1.4 feet per second).

As a result, the station’s altitude above the Earth surface will be raised to 412.7 kilometers at the lowest point of its orbit and 418.7 kilometers at the highest point.

Such adjustments are carried out regularly to compensate for the Earth's gravity and to facilitate the successful docking and undocking of spacecraft.

Saturday’s maneuver will be held to create the best conditions for the docking of Russia’s Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft carrying new ISS crew members - Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky of Russia and NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins.

 

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