Do they have to change the orbit of the International Space Station each time they add a new component?

Do they use the Progress ship engines to slightly alter the orbit each time they add to the station's mass? I have not read about this but I am curious.

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    They can and they do, but they dont have to because of the added component. The component being added is already in the right orbit, flying at the right speed, in the right direction.

    They change the orbit only to deal with the fact that the ISS degrades in orbit, meaning it keeps getting closer to the earth. And that happens because there is air drag, even that high up. So they push it higher. But not because of the added component.

    Source(s): I have a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Cornell.
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, Every time there is an addition to the mass of the station it must change the orbital velocity by a factor called "Delta V"

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