MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. The orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) was adjusted early on Friday ahead of a new manned mission due next year, the Russian state-run space corporation Roscosmos said.
"The altitude of the ISS orbit was lowered by approximately 1.8 kilometers to start preparations for the launch of the Soyuz MS-21 manned spacecraft," the space agency said in a Twitter post.
According to Roscosmos, engines of the Progress MS-18 spacecraft currently docked with the station were switched on at 04:18 Moscow time and worked for 539.4 seconds.
The launch of Soyuz MS-21 is scheduled for spring 2022.
The current ISS crew comprises Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, US astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron and also European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer.