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MOSCOW, January 13 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Mission Control Centre will carry out an unscheduled ISS orbit correction operation on Friday evening due to the threat of a collision with a fragment of the American satellite Iridium-33.
The orbit correction will be conducted with the use of the engines of the Zvezda module. The manoeuvre will begin at 20:10 Moscow time, a Russian Mission Control Centre source told Itar-Tass.
According to MCC specialists, the engines will work for 54 seconds for the station to move 0.85 m/sec faster. The ISS orbit will be raised 1.5 km to an altitude of 391.4 km.
ISS Crew 30 works according to the planned program. The situation in the orbit is under the Russian and American mission control centres' constant control.
In accordance with the ISS mission program, an orbit correction was scheduled for January 18 to prepare the station for the docking with the Progress M-14M cargo craft, the launch of which is planned for January 26.
The planned correction is taken into account in the operation that will be conducted to avoid a collision with space debris.
According to NASA, a 10-cm fragment of the American satellite Iridium will approach the ISS. If the ISS orbit is not changed, early on Saturday morning, Moscow time, it will twice come dangerously close to the station -- at a distance of one to 24 km.
More than 13,000 objects of a size of 20-30 cm are flying in space at present, and there are tens of millions of space debris particles of a size of one cm and less. Collision speeds in space reach 10-15 km/sec. The power of a 10-cm piece is comparable to a loaded KAMAZ truck rushing at a speed of 80-100 km/h, Mission Control Centre specialists explained.