The orbit of the International Space Station was raised on Friday to ensure successful docking of a Russian spacecraft at the beginning of the next year, a spokesman for Mission Control Center in Russia said.
Corrections to the space station’s orbit are performed periodically in order to compensate for Earth’s gravity and to ensure successful dockings.
This time, the adjustment was performed to ensure that Russia’s Progress M-22M cargo vehicle, to be launched on February 5, safely docks with the station.
Thrusters on Russia’s Progress M-21M spacecraft, currently docked at the ISS Zvezda Service Module, were ignited for about 10 minutes, giving the station a velocity increment of approximately 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) per second.
As a result, the average altitude of the station was raised by 2.3 kilometers (1.4 miles), to 417.6 kilometers (259.5 miles).
The maximum altitude of the ISS today is 432.2 kilometers and the minimum one is 418.4 kilometers. Th eorbital period is 92.86 minutes, the inclination is 51.67°.
Image credit – NASA