hpulley writes "ITAR-TASS reports that the Progress cargo ship currently docked at the ISS attempted an orbit raising burn this morning but the engine failed three minutes into the firing. Further burns are cancelled until they figure out the problem and meanwhile, the station continues to lose approximately a kilometer of altitude every week, with the rate increasing as the orbit decays. At present, the schedule says the next Progress, 20P, will be launched on December 21st, nearly 9 weeks from now. Normally the shuttle would also raise the orbit of ISS but it is not scheduled to launch until May 3rd at the earliest. Nominally the ISS orbits at 358km but if it drops to 300km, it may decay in a matter of days. It was down to 340km already on October 13th."
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