MOSCOW, August 10. /TASS/. The orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) was raised by over 500 meters to create ballistic conditions for the launch of a Soyuz MS-22 manned spacecraft, Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos announced on its Telegram channel on Wednesday.
"Even at a distance of 420 km from the Earth’s surface, our planet’s atmosphere has its effect on the ISS, gradually lowering its orbit. In order to keep the station at the designated altitude, specialists carry out orbit adjustment maneuvers," Roscosmos said in a statement.
The maneuver was conducted on Wednesday morning, using the thrusters of the Progress MS-20 space freighter docked to the Zvezda module of the ISS Russian segment. The cargo spaceship fired its thrusters at 10:16 a.m. Moscow time, 30 minutes ahead of the planned time, for 164.6 seconds, the Russian space agency said.
"Today, at 10:16 a.m. Moscow time, the thrusters of the Progress MS-20 space freighter were fired to adjust the orbit of the International Space Station. According to preliminary data, the ISS orbit average altitude equals 416.2 km above the Earth’s surface after the maneuver," Roscosmos said.
After the adjustment maneuver, the space station’s average orbit was raised by 530 meters, it specified.
The launch of a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Soyuz MS-22 manned spacecraft is scheduled for September 21 from the Baikonur spaceport. The spacecraft will deliver Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Francisco Rubio to the ISS.
Currently, the crew of the ISS long-term expedition 67 is working aboard the orbital outpost. The crew comprises Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov, NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines and Jessica Watkins and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.