Space station lights its ‘big engines’

ZvezdaFor a routine orbital boost last week, the international space station pulled off a new trick that significantly enhances the outpost’s operational flexibility and safety.

Experts at Russian Mission Control successfully ignited a set of maneuvering thrusters that had not been used for seven years — and that had refused to fire in several previous attempts.

Mission Control’s Nikolai Kryuchkov said controllers decided to use the station’s main engines on the Russian-built Zvezda service module for last week’s boosts —rather than following the usual routine, which relies on the smaller thrusters on a docked Progress cargo craft.

Source:  MSNBC news

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