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MOSCOW, February 29 (Itar-Tass) — The Flight Control Center (FCC) on Wednesday begins a series of maneuvers to adjust the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS). The purpose of the maneuvers is to create favourable conditions for the ISS docking with a Progress resupply spacecraft and the landing of a Soyuz manned spaceship.
An official at the FCC located outside Moscow has told Itar-Tass, "Under the program for the ballistic support of the ISS flight, the Station's orbit adjustment has been planned out for Feb 29. This will be the first adjustment in a series of three maneuvers aimed at shaping the Station's working orbit ahead of receiving an inbound Progress M-15M spacecraft and at ensuring conditions for the landing of the outbond Soyuz TMA-22 manned spaceship. The second maneuver to adjust the ISS orbit is scheduled for March 22 and the third one for April 5".
Two high-powered sustainer motors of the service module Zvezda (star) will be used to bring the ISS to a higher orbit," the FCC official pointed out. The motors are to be ignited at 14:12, Moscow time. Within 76.4 seconds, the duration of their operation, the ISS, upon getting an impulse of 1.2 meter per second, will rise 2.1 km higher than it is now.
The Progress M-15M is to be launched on April 20 and the Soyuz TMA-22 is to land on April 30 to bring Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin and NASA astronaut Daniel Burbank back to the Earth.