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ISS orbit raised ahead of Soyuz MS-16 manned spacecraft’s docking

As a result of the maneuver the ISS’s orbit was raised by nearly 1.1 km to 419 km

MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. Specialists of the Mission Control Center have adjusted the orbit of the International Space Station ahead of the Soyuz MS-16 manned spacecraft’s docking, Roscosmos state space corporation said.

"In accordance with the ISS flight program a scheduled adjustment of its orbit was carried out on March 19, 2020," Roscosmos said.

The engines of the Progress cargo spacecraft were switched on at 20:14 Moscow Time and worked for 534 seconds as scheduled. As a result of the maneuver the ISS’s orbit was raised by nearly 1.1 km to 419 km.

The maneuver was conducted to create ballistic conditions for the docking of the Soyuz MS-16 manned spacecraft with three crew members onboard and the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft’s landing with a cosmonaut and two astronauts.

At the moment, three crew members are onboard the International Space Station - Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan. They are scheduled to return to the Earth on April 17 onboard the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft.

On April 9, cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy will join the crew. The Soyuz-2.1 a rocket with the Soyuz MS-16 manned spacecraft will be launched at 11:05 Moscow Time and the spacecraft’s docking with the ISS is scheduled for 17:16 Moscow Time.

Last time the ISS orbit was adjusted in January. The maneuver was carried out in two stages to create ballistic conditions for the landing of the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft on February 6.