MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The orbital altitude of the International Space Station (ISS) has been increased by 350 meters (1,148 feet) in preparation for the docking of the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft, Russia's Mission Control Center (MCC) told Sputnik Thursday.
"The engines of the International Space Station’s ‘Zvezda’ service module were switched on at 00:35 Moscow time [21:35 GMT], the average altitude of the flight totaled 405.1 kilometers after the end of the operation," the center’s representative said, adding that the altitude increased by 350 meters from its previous position.
The Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the ISS on June 2, 2017. The Soyuz MS-03 will bring Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who have been at the ISS since November 20, 2016, back to Earth. NASA’s Peggy Whitson, on the other hand, who arrived at the ISS together with Novitskiy and Pesquet, will stay for over three more months before returning to Earth together with the crew of the Soyuz MS-04, which docked with the ISS on April 20.