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ISS station orbit raised for March docking with Soyuz spacecraft

January 28, 6:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The orbit adjustment was needed to ensure normal conditions for docking of the manned Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft with the station
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MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. The Progress M-29M cargo spaceship has raised the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) by 1.1 kilometers (0.7 miles), the Mission Control Center outside Moscow has told TASS.

"The estimated time of the Progress engines’ work was 323.9 seconds. As a result of the maneuver, the average altitude of the station’s orbit was raised by approximately 1.1 kilometers and should reach 404 kilometers (251 miles)," a spokesperson said.

The orbit’s adjustment was carried out as scheduled on Wednesday upon the instructions from the Earth and without the participation of the crew.

The orbit adjustment was needed to ensure normal conditions for docking of the manned Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft with the station. The spacecraft will carry a new expedition that will be launched on March 19 from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

The main crew of the new expedition consists of Russians Alexei Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka, and also NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams. The backup crew includes Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko, and also American Robert Kimbrough.

The current ISS crew comprises Russian cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko, Mikhail Korniyenko and Sergey Volkov, US astronauts Timothy Kopra and Scott Kelly and the European Space Agency’s astronaut Timothy Peake.

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