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Space

ISS orbit adjusted to host shuttle Endeavor - Mission Control

RIA Novosti

24/07/2007 09:00 MISSION CONTROL (outside Moscow), July 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Mission Control said Tuesday it successfully adjusted the International Space Station's orbit in preparation for the docking of the U.S. space shuttle Endeavor, due to be launched August 8.

Corrections to the space station's orbit are conducted periodically before launches of Russian cargo ships and U.S. shuttles to compensate for Earth's gravity and to ensure successful dockings.

The correction started at 2:06 a.m. Moscow time (10:06 p.m. GMT Monday) with the help of the Progress M-60 cargo ship, which is already docked with the ISS.

The cargo ship's boosters were activated for 1,265 seconds (about 21 minutes), while the orbit was raised 7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles), bringing the space station to an altitude of 337.5 kilometers (about 210 miles) over the Earth's surface.

"The correction was made without the crew's participation," a Mission Control's spokesman said.

The launch of the NASA STS-118 mission is targeted for August 8. It will be the 22nd flight to the International Space Station (ISS) and the first flight for Endeavour since 2002.

Endeavour, which has been modernized and equipped with a new system designed to let the shuttle use electrical power from the space station, will deliver a new truss segment, a Spacehab module, and an external stowage platform to the ISS, which is planned to be completed by 2010.

NASA said that during the 11-day mission, the seven-member Endeavour crew would conduct three space walks. An electrical boost from the space station could allow the mission to be extended for three extra days, and an additional spacewalk could be added.

The Endeavor is already being prepared for its rollout to the launch pad.



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