ATV Edoardo Amaldi has been used for the first time to boost the orbit of the International Space Station. On Saturday evening at 23:54 CEST (21:54 UT), the Automated Transfer Vehicle’s thrusters were fired for 6 minutes and 51 seconds. ESA astronaut André Kuipers prepared the ISS for the burn by closing all hatches on the US segment.
The burn raised the ISS orbit by 1.73 km to a mean altitude of 389.7 km. The purpose of the burn was to test the ATV’s reboost functionality, it also sets up the ISS for the departure of the Soyuz 28S later this month, as well as the arrival of the Progress 47P and Soyuz 30S spacecraft. ATV Edoardo Amaldi will be used later during the spacecraft’s stay at the ISS to perform a series of larger planned reboosts and any Debris Avoidance Manoeuvres if and when these are needed.