The International Space Station’s (ISS) flight orbit has been adjusted ahead of the Starliner and Soyuz MS-19 launches, Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos said on Thursday, APA reports citing TASS.
"Another International Space Station’s orbit adjustment has been carried out to create ballistic conditions ahead of the landing of the Soyuz MS-18 reentry vehicle and the launch of the Soyuz MS-19 and CST-100 Starliner (Boe-OFT 2) manned spaceship," it said.
The adjustment maneuver was carried out with the help of the engines of the Progress MS-16 spaceship that were switched on at 05:40 Moscow time to be working for 466 seconds.
"According to preliminary calculations, the stations’ altitude has been raised by 850 meters to reach around 420.3 kilometers above Earth.
According to Roscosmos, the ISS makes 15 or 16 revolutions around Earth, with some of them being in the visibility zone of Russian ground-based command and control centers. So, the time for orbit adjustments is chosen to be sure that the command signal reaches the ISS and the orbit maneuver can be controlled.
The current ISS crew are Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Petr Dubrov, NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough, and Megan McArthur, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide.
The Soyuz MS-19 is to bring to the ISS cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, Russian actress Yulia Peresild and film director Klim Shipenko who are to make the first-ever movie in outer space.