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Russian spacecraft raises International Space Station orbit

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Russian spacecraft raises International Space Station orbit
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Moscow: The orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) was raised on Monday by the Russian Progress M-26 unmanned cargo spacecraft in its second attempt, after the last manoeuvre was aborted on Friday, according to Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Russia's Mission Control Centre (MCC) successfully conducted the orbit correction with the Progress M-26M spacecraft engines, a rocket and space industry source told TASS on Monday.

"The manoeuvre has been completed," the Roscosmos 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 an average height of 405 km.

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

Flight director of the Russian ISS section Vladimir Solovyov said that MCC specialists investigated the causes of the contingency and were ready to conduct another orbit correction in a backup mode on Monday.

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.

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