ISS orbit to be lifted 800 meters

The flight altitude of the International Space Station (ISS) will be increased by 800 meters on Wednesday, a spokesman for Russia Mission Control said.

"The operation for the scheduled raising of the ISS's orbit is set for 6:27 p.m. Moscow time May 11. The correction will be effected by attitude control thrusters of the Progress M-52 cargo ship docked with the ISS," he said.

Initially the prime purpose of this space maneuver was to put the station in the optimum trajectory of linking with the shuttle Discovery.

But NASA once more postponed the launching of the space shuttle scheduled for May 22. Now it cannot take place earlier than July 14 to 31, said Mike Griffin, head of the American space agency.

He said NASA needs to carry out a series of additional checks, which rolls the launch date six to seven weeks back. Earlier, so-called launch "windows" had been pushed back several times.

The launching of the next Russian space supply craft, Progress M-53, to the ISS will also be moved from June 10 to June 17.

"It was previously assumed that the next Progress with food, water, fuel and scientific equipment for the 11th ISS crew would blast off from Baikonur on June 10 on a Soyuz carrier, but this launch will most likely be put off for a week," the source told RIA Novosti.

He did not specify the reason for the possible shifting of the launching date, saying only that "Russian technology has nothing to do with this."

Correspondingly, the date for sinking Progress M-52 loaded with trash, the crews' waste, and used equipment is to be adjusted to the launching date of Progress M-53. The undocking operation is now set for June 16.

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