A routine engine firing to raise the orbit of the International Space Station failed to come off today.

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A routine engine firing to raise the orbit of the International Space Station failed to come off today.

Though it appears the engines on the European ATV cargo craft did not fire as scheduled, the report is very vague and does not make clear what actually happened. Stay tuned.



  • Chris Kirkendall

    The comment “…to adjust for the Earth’s gravity” was rather odd – I thought the only reason an orbit gradually begins to ‘decay’ is that even at 200 or 250 mi. up, there is still some minuscule amount of atmospheric drag. There are many knowledgable people on this site regarding spaceflight – if anyone knows different, please feel free to correct me.

    Hopefully the next “burn” will come off OK, but it didn’t sound like a major problem…

  • You beat me to it Chris. How is it a science reporter screws up the science?

  • Chris Kirkendall

    HA HA ! ! Yeah – good question ! !

  • I suspect that the stringer who wrote this short article for UPI was based in Russia and was not a native English speaker. That the wording in the article is sometimes odd suggests this.

    This is not unusual. News services like AP, UPI, Reuters use native stringers all the time. Sometimes they can write better than this. Other times they are downright horrible, as in the case of the Arab stringers used by Reuters and others during the last Israeli-Lebanon conflict. In that case the stringers were more interested in providing pro-Palestinian propaganda than reporting what was happening.

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