MOSCOW, Jan. 16 (PNA/RIA Novosti) — A maneuver to raise the orbit of the International Space Station has been delayed by two days until January 18 over the threat of collision with space debris, a source in the space sector has said.
The ISS orbit was due to be raised Thursday by nearly two kilometers to the altitude of 417 kilometers to ensure safe docking of a Russian cargo spacecraft in February.
The orbit adjustment will be carried out to compensate for Earth’s gravity and to facilitate the docking of the Progress M-22M resupply spacecraft scheduled for launch from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on February 5. The docking with the station is due on February 6.
With a record of more than 130 launches since 1972 and only one failure, Progress-family freighters remain the backbone of the Russian space cargo fleet. In addition to their main mission as cargo spacecraft, they are used to adjust the ISS’s orbit and conduct scientific experiments. (PNA/RIA Novosti)