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European ATV-5 cargo spacecraft set for adjustment of space station’s orbit

January 28, 2015, 13:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The station’s orbit is adjusted regularly to ensure safe docking of the freighters and manned spacecraft as well as to avoid possible collision with space debris
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© EPA/NASA TV

MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. Europe’s ATV-5 cargo spacecraft, docked with the International Space Station (ISS), will switch its engines for about five minutes on Wednesday night to lower the space station’s orbit by approximately 1.2 kilometers, the Russian Mission Control said.

According to the Mission Control, the maneuver will be conducted at 9:40pm Moscow time (18:40 GMT) and boosters of the ATV-5 will be switched on for 288.7 seconds. The orbit of the space station will be lowered as a result of the maneuver to 404.5 kilometers (251.3 miles).

The station’s orbit is adjusted regularly to ensure safe docking of the freighters and manned spacecraft as well as to avoid possible collision with space debris.

Ariane 5 space carrier with ATV-5 "Georges Lemaitre" cargo spacecraft was launched to the ISS from the Guiana Space Center, in Kourou, French Guiana, on July 29, 2014 and docked with the space station on August 12.

The Georges Lemaitre is scheduled to undock from the ISS on February 14 and be buried subsequently in the Pacific Ocean.

After fulfilling their missions to the ISS, space freighters are usually deorbited and burnt in the atmosphere on their way to the Earth. Remains of spacecraft, which did not burn, are usually buried in the remote area of the Pacific Ocean.

The non-navigation area at the issue is also referred to as the "spaceship cemetery" and is located not far from the Christmas Island. This is a designated area, where numerous spacecraft, including the defunct Soviet space station Mir, were sunk.

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