Monday, May 18, 2015

Russia Restarts Progress Spacecraft and Corrects ISS Orbit

Progress cargo craft (right) is seen docked to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Russia’s Mission Control Centre (MCC) has successfully conducted an operation to adjust the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS), a rocket and space industry source told TASS on Monday. The orbit correction was made with the restart of Progress M-26M spacecraft engines. "The maneuver has been completed," the source said. According to him, the spacecraft’s engines worked for 23 minutes. During this time the ISS orbit was lifted by 2.8 km to reach 405 km on the average.

A space industry source said previously that on the night to May 16 the ISS orbit adjustment maneuver failed because the Progress cargo spacecraft’s control system cancelled the engines’ ignition.

After that flight director of the Russian ISS section Vladimir Solovyov said that MCC specialists investigated the causes of the contingency during the ISS orbit correction maneuver on the night of May 16 and were ready to conduct another orbit correction in a backup mode on the night to Monday.

Due to the fact that the maneuver will engage less Progress engines - not eight, but four - they worked longer than they were to work on May 16. The backup orbit adjustment scheme envisages the use of not all engines of the spacecraft.

According to Solovyov, this adjustment has been conducted in order to create optimal conditions for the ISS crewmembers’ landing on June 11 and the launch of another cargo spacecraft in early July.

Credit: TASS

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