The average altitude of the International Space Station orbit increased by 2.8 km and amounted to 418.23 km. The orbit altitude correction on Thursday, October 19, was carried out by the engines of the Progress MS-24 cargo ship docked to the Zvezda service module of the Russian segment of the ISS. They were turned on at 06:46 Moscow time, worked for 1029.9 seconds, producing an impulse of 1.5 m/s.
As Roscosmos said, the purpose of the correction is to begin the formation of ballistic conditions before launching the Progress MS-25 cargo ship into orbit. Its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on a Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle is scheduled for December 1.
During the entire flight of the ISS, 348 corrections to the altitude of its orbit were carried out, including 194 using the engines of the Progress spacecraft.
Experts explain: there cannot be a strict altitude for the space station’s orbit. It decreases smoothly, which depends on various factors. For example, from solar activity. More than once it was necessary to change its trajectory due to space debris. Therefore, in order to create ballistic conditions for docking of arriving cargo and manned spacecraft, the ISS has to be “adjusted” and constantly “pushed” upward. Sometimes for some hundreds of meters, and sometimes very decently. For example, in September of this year the orbit was increased by 3.5 km.
Currently, seven people are working on board the ISS – the crew of the 70th long-term expedition consisting of Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko, Nikolai Chub and Konstantin Borisov, NASA astronauts Jasmine Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen and JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa.