Jules Verne Boosts ISS to Higher Orbit

The space where the International Space Station (ISS) orbits is not pure vacuum; there is a very thin atmosphere at where it orbits. And because of this thin atmosphere, the Station feels a small amount of friction, which slows it down and making it drop to a lower altitude. The Station’s natural altitude loss can reach up to several hundreds of metres a day.

Lower altitude means thicker atmosphere; thicker atmosphere means more frictions; more frictions means drop faster to even lower altitude and lower altitude means… the process keeps on repeating in a faster and faster rate, until the station will eventually burn itself up in our atmosphere.

To avoid this from happening, once in a while, ISS needs to be pushed to higher altitudes to compensate for this atmospheric drag. Previously, the “boosting” were done by the Space Shuttle, Russian Progress and by the ISS itself. But now, for the first time, this job was done by the advanced ESA spacecraft Jules Verne that docked with ISS early this month.

Jules Verne boosts ISS

Click here for an Animation of the ISS re-boost performed by Jules Verne ATV.

On 25 April 2008, ATV Jules Verne’s main engines burned for 740 seconds and successfully boosted the 280-tonne Station up 4.5 km to a new altitude of 342 km above the Earth’s surface.


Source: ESA News


~ by thChieh on April 28, 2008.

One Response to “Jules Verne Boosts ISS to Higher Orbit”

  1. […] a fully-automated docking with the ISS; delivered the necessary supplies to the space station; re-boosted the station to higher orbit due to atmospheric drag; performing an debris avoidance manoeuvre for ISS; removing waste and garbage from the space […]

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