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Europe’s ATV-3 Space Freighter Adjusts Space Station Orbit

RIA Novosti

02:50 01/04/2012

MOSCOW, April 1 (RIA Novosti) - Europe’s ATV-3 unmanned resupply spacecraft, which docked with the ISS earlier this week, readjusted the space station’s orbit on Sunday, the Mission Control said.

Two main engines of ATV-3 were switched on at 1:54 Moscow time on Sunday [21:54 GMT on Saturday] to raise the International Space Station (ISS) orbit by 1.7 km, to 389.8 km.

"Engines of Europe’s ATV-3 spacecraft remained switched on for 411 seconds (almost seven minutes), giving the ISS an additional acceleration of one meter per second,” the source said.

The third Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), named after Italian physicist Edoardo Amaldi, blasted off from the Kourou space center in French Guiana on March 23. The European spacecraft docked automatically to the aft port of the Zvezda service module at 22:31 GMT on Wednesday.

Earlier on Saturday specialists fixed the backup power channel, designed to route power to the ATV from the station. ESA said the malfunction will not influence the planned re-boost.

The cause of the failure is under investigation.

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