International Space Station (ISS) Orbit Adjustment for Docking of Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft


The Russian Mission Control Center has adjusted the orbit of the International Space Station by raising it to the medium altitude of 408.5 km. This is an increase of 1.6 km to create ballistic conditions for the launch of Russian’s Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft.

The spokesman for the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building (TsNIImash) told yesterday that the launch of the spacecraft to the ISS is scheduled for March 14. The maneuver will take place from the Baikonur spaceport.

According to the press release of Roscosmos space corporation, the orbit adjustment of ISS was performed as scheduled. Last time, the orbit was adjusted on January 18, 2019. At that time, the medium altitude of the orbit was raised by 1.8 km to make it 407.3 km. This time, they raised the medium altitude of the orbit by 1.6 km further to make it 408.5 km.

ISS Orbit
Image © NASA/JSC

To carry out the maneuver successfully, the engines of the Progress MS-10 cargo spaceship will be turned on for 108 seconds creating the ballistic conditions for the flight of the spacecraft.

There will be an international crew onboard for the docking of the spacecraft. This includes two NASA astronauts, Christina Koch and Nick Hague, and one Russian cosmonaut, Alexei Ovchinin. They will spend 204 days in orbit in the spacecraft.

Both Hague and Ovchinin were expected to arrive at the orbital outpost last year in October. However, their project was delayed by the inefficacious launch of the Soyuz-FG carrier rocket.


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