MOSCOW, August 22 (Itar-Tass) — Russia'a Mission Control Center (MCC) will repeat a two-ignition maneuver to adjust the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday.
The first attempt, made on August 15, ended with an unconventional situation: the propulsion plant of the European cargo spacecraft Edoardo Amaldi operated slightly more than 20 minutes instead of the needed 30 ones. As a result, the ISS orbit was raised by only five kilometres instead of the planned 7.7 km.
An MCC official told Itar-Tass, "The purpose of the maneuver remains the same: to create favourabe conditions for the landing of the manned spaceship Soyuz in a pre-set area, and for the docking of the Station with an incoming next Soyuz".
The engines of the European cargo spacecraft, docked with the Russian service module Zvezda (star), and those of the Russian cargo resupply spacecraft Progress M-16M, which is positioned at the nadir assembly of the docking module Pier, will be the main "driving force".
Unlike the previous attempt, Wednesday's maneuver will be a two-ignition one. The first ignition of the engines is scheduled for 13:45, Moscow time(operation time -- 384 seconds) and the other one is to start at 17:17 (with a duration of 2,088.5 sec), the MCC official specified. As a result of the orbit adjustment maneuver, the ISS will rise by about 10.5 km.
ISS orbit adjusting maneuvers are usually carried out in order to bring the Station to a needed orbit for docking with an incoming resulpply spacecraft or a manned spaceship, to create conditions for a successful landing, as well as for evading space debris.
Every day, under the impact of terrestrial gravitational pull and other factors, the ISS orbit descends by 150-200 metres.
Currently working aboard the ISS are Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, Sergei Revin, and Yuri Malenchenko, NASA astronauts Joseph Acaba and Sunita Williams, and Akihiko Hoshide, astronaut of the Japanese space agency JAXA.
The landing of the outbound Soyuz TMA-04M spaceship with Padalka and Revin on board is scheduled for September 17.