The orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) was raised on Wednesday by one kilometer in anticipation of the arrival of new crew members at the end of October, Russia’s Mission Control said.
The adjustment was carried out with the use of thrusters on the Russian Zvezda service module.
“The Zvezda thrusters were switched on for 19 seconds to give the station an additional boost of 0.3 meters per second,” a Mission Control spokesman said.
“As a result of the maneuver, the station’s orbit was increased by one kilometer to 419.2 kilometers,” the official said.
The adjustment was intended to “smooth out” the elliptic shape of the orbit and ensure the best conditions for the docking of the Soyuz TMA-06M manned spacecraft with the orbital outpost slated for October 25.
The Soyuz TMA-06M will bring to the station Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin, along with NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, as part of Expedition 33.
They will join the current crew consisting of NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Russian cosmonaut Yury Malenchenko and Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide.
The launch of a Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the new ISS crew is scheduled on October 23 from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan.