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Space station’s orbit raised by 600 meters ahead of manned Soyuz missions

As a result, the average altitude of the ISS increased to 404.7 km

MOSCOW, May 13. /TASS/. The Russian Mission Control Center on Sunday adjusted the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) by 600 meters in the run-up to manned Soyuz missions, a mission control official told TASS.

"The maneuver was conducted with the help of Progress MS-08 thrusters that remained switched on for 172 seconds," the source said.

As a result, the average altitude of the ISS increased by 600 meters, to 404.7 kilometers, he added.

The adjustment was necessary for creating proper ballistic conditions prior to the Soyuz MS-07 departure from ISS on June 3 and the launch of the Soyuz MS-09 to the station on June 6. It was also necessary for a 6.5-hour spacewalk by NASA astronauts Richard Arnold and Andrew Feustel, due on May 16.

Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Oleg Artemyev, NASA astronauts Scott Tingle, Richard Arnold and Andrew Feustel, and also Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai are currently working aboard the space station.

Shkaplerov, Tingle and Kanai are planned to return to the Earth aboard the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft on June 3.

Also, the launch of the manned Soyuz-MS-09 spacecraft with the crew of the new expedition to the ISS is planned from the Baikonur spaceport for June 6. The new crew will comprise Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev, NASA astronaut Serena Aunon and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst (Germany).