Necessary maneuver of ISS before next docking of Soyuz TMA-20M is planned for 17th February 2016.

It was announced on 1 February 2016 that ISS would change its orbit due the planned for March series of activities with visiting spacecrafts. Maneuver will start on 17 February 2016, commands will be sent from RKA Mission Control Center placed in Korolyov, Russia. This maneuver will be performed with utilization of Progress M-29M which remains docked to Zvezda module. Last maneuver was performed on 27th January 2016 and also utilized Progress M-29M. That time orbit of ISS was changed from 398.5 km x 407.6 km to 399.41 km x 408.73 km with inclination of 51.64° and period of 92.64 minutes. First repositioning from series of three was performed on 11 January 2016. Whole procedure as usual will be performed without any crew involvement.

March will be quite busy month for present ISS crew members. On 2nd March 2016 it is planned landing of Soyuz TMA-18M with Sergei Volkov, Mikhail Kornienko and Scott Kelly. It is would be special landing for Kelly and Kornienko – it is the end of their “one year in Space” mission. Next activity planned for March 2016 is rendez vous and docking of Soyuz TMA-20M with Aleksey Ovchinin, Oleg Skripochka and Jeff Williams, after launch planned for 19 March 2016. Next docking is planned for 31st March 2016 – this time it will be Progress MS-2 with resupply mission launched on atop of Soyuz-FG rocket.

On picture above some history – docking of ESA ATV “Edoardo Amaldi” in 2012.