According to RIA Novosti, Russia’s Progress M-19M resupply spacecraft will readjust the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Russian space agency Roscosmos said.
“The space freighter’s engines will be started at 10:51 a.m. Moscow Time [6:34 GMT]. They will work for 858.7 seconds [over 14 minutes]. As a result of the maneuver, the ISS’s orbit will be raised by about 2.6 kilometers [1.6 miles],” the spokesman said adding that the station’s orbit will total 413.8 kilometers (257 miles).
The Progress M-19M space freighter blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on April 24 and docked with the ISS Zvezda module on April 26.
Adjustments to the station’s orbit are carried out regularly to compensate for the Earth’s gravity and to facilitate the successful docking and undocking of spacecraft.
This time, the orbit readjustment will be held to create the best conditions for the undocking of a Soyuz TMA-07M manned spacecraft and the subsequent docking of the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft.
The Soyuz TMA-07M, due to undock on May 14, will bring back to Earth crew members Chris Hadfield of Canada, Roman Romanenko of Russia and Thomas Marshburn of the United States.
The Soyuz TMA-09M, to be launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on May 29, will take new crew members to the station – Fyodor Yurchikhin of Russia, Karen Nyberg of the United States and Luca Parmitano of Italy.