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ISS Orbit Successful Changed Ahead Of Soyuz Docking

Former Microsoft software developer Charles Simonyi flies during a parabolic flight aboard a zero-gravity simulator, a Russian IL-76 MDK aircraft used for astronauts' training flights in weightlessness, in Star City outside Moscow, 26 February 2007. The world's next space tourist, Simonyi, will blast off on his journey to the International Space Station on the manned Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft in April. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) March 16, 2007
The orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) was successfully corrected on Friday, the Interfax news agency reported. Igor Panarin, a spokesman for the Russian space agency Roskosmos, was cited as saying the engines on the cargo vessel Progress docked on the ISS fired up for the expected time and raised the station's orbit by about five kilometres (3.1 miles).

The correction, which gives the ISS a new orbit of about 337 kilometres (209 miles), was necessary to put the station in the best position for the manned Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft to dock there in April.

That mission will carry a "space tourist", Hungarian-born American billionaire Charles Simonyi, as well as two Russian astronauts, Fedor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov.

In February, two spacemen on board the ISS carried out a successful six-hour space walk to fix the antennae on the Progress M-58 supply ship.

Last October the antennae caused problems when the vessel docked and it could have also hampered its departure in April, just before the ISS crew is changed.

The ISS's orbit has to be periodically corrected as the space station sinks as it circles the earth.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Nespoli Focuses On Complex Mission For ESA
Paris, France (ESA) Mar 15, 2007
Later this year, ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will serve as Mission Specialist on the STS-120 mission to the International Space Station. Together with the rest of the Shuttle crew, Nespoli is training intensively ahead of this complex ISS assembly mission.

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