MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. Russian resupply spacecraft Progress M-26M has lifted the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) by 750 meters in order to create optimal conditions for docking of the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft, Moscow-based Mission Control Center (MCC) told TASS on Tuesday.
"Progress’ engines were turned on scheduled time and worked for about 197.4 seconds, creating an impulse of 0.43 meters per second for the station," an MCC spokesman said.
ISS orbit correction is needed for the docking of a spacecraft on March 12 with Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokrutyaev and Elena Serova and US astronaut Barry Wilmore onboard. Russian Anton Shkaplerov, US Terry Virts and European Space Agency Samantha Cristoforetti will stay at ISS.
Another orbit correction will be made on March 19. The maneuver is planned to create optimal conditions for docking with Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft which will be launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome on March 27.
Three new international crews for ISS were announced on February 13. "NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] and its International Space Station partners have announced the crew members for three upcoming missions to the space station" beginning in 2016, the statement published on NASA’s official website says.
In accordance with the decision of a joint commission, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishikn, US astronaut Kate Rubins and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi will go to the ISS in May 2016.
In September 2016, the mission to the ISS will include Russian cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Sergey Ryzhikov and US astronaut Shane Kimbrough. In November 2016, Russian Oleg Novitsky, US Peggy Whitson and European Space Agency (ESA) Thomas Pesquet will follow suit.
At the moment, the ISS crew consists of Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokrutyaev, Elena Serova and Anton Shkaplerov, US astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts, and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.