MOSCOW, January 18, /ITAR-TASS/. The Mission Control Centre based near Moscow has corrected the orbit of the International Space Station, a Roscosmos (Russian Space Agency) source told Itar-Tass.
The manoeuvre was carried out with the use of the engines of the Progress M-21M cargo craft. The engines were started at 04:09 Moscow time and worked for 519.8 seconds. The orbit was raised two kilometres to an altitude of 417.2 km.
The operation was conducted before the planned docking with Progress M-22M, the launch of which is planned for February 5.
The orbit correction was originally planned for Thursday, January 16, 05:54 Moscow time. However, the operation was postponed at the NASA request. A source at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston explained to Itar-Tass that the manoeuvre was postponed to avoid a collision with a fragment of an American rocket.
Aboard the ISS are the crewmembers of ISS Expedition 38 -- Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov, Sergei Ryazansky and Mikhail Tyurin, American astronauts Michael Hopkins and Richard Mastracchio and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata.
ISS orbit correction manoeuvres are conducted to create better conditions for docking, landing of aircraft that leave the ISS and avoiding collisions with space debris. Every day, the ISS orbit under the influence of Earth's gravity is down 150-200 metres.