Thursday, November 10, 2005

Russian Spacecraft Boosts Space Station's Orbit

Backdropped by the blackness of space and Earth’s
horizon, this full view of the International Space Station
was photographed by a crewmember onboard the Space
Shuttle Discovery following the undocking of the two
spacecraft. Discovery pulled away from the complex
at 2:24 a.m. (CDT) on August 6, 2005.
Image source: Science Daily / NASA

Tariq Malik writes in

An unmanned Russian spacecraft docked at the International Space Station (ISS) fired its engines early Thursday, raising the research platform’s orbit in preparation for a cargo shipment next month.

The Russian-built Progress 19 cargo ship berthed at the aft end of the station’s Zvezda service module fired its four thrusters during two successive burns to place the ISS in a nearly circular orbit that reaches 219 statute miles (352 kilometers) above Earth at its highest point, NASA officials said.

The Thursday maneuver marked the second time flight controllers attempted to boost the space station’s orbit. The initial attempt on Oct. 18 EDT failed when the Progress engines unexpectedly cutoff less than two minutes into the first of two planned 12-minute burns.


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