The crew seen here is Expedition 66, which includes NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn Kayla Barron and Mark Vande Hei; ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer; Roscosmos astronaut Anton Shkapler Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.
Official portrait of the seven-member crew of Expedition 66. From left, NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Thomas Marshburn; European Space Agency astronauts Matthias Maurer; Roscosmos astronauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov; and NASA astronauts Kayla Barron and Mark Vande Hei . Source: NASA
The astronauts clearly enjoyed the experience. The feeling must be somewhat similar to the acceleration of a car or a plane — it feels like you’re being pushed back into the seat, when in fact the seat is being pushed onto you by the acceleration of the aircraft.
The International Space Station typically orbits about 400 kilometers (250 miles) above Earth. But the effects of atmospheric drag could cause the space station to lose as much as 100 meters of altitude per day. Therefore, boosting is required on a regular basis, usually about once a month.
There’s no real timetable for when the reinvigoration will take place, as the density of Earth’s atmosphere at these altitudes is constantly changing, depending on how much energy the sun supplies to it. Therefore, the orbital decay rate is not consistent. But the ISS’ orbit decays faster than other satellites of similar altitude due to its enormous volume and surface area.
Boosting is also intended to optimize the orbital position of the International Space Station for future visiting spacecraft arriving at the space station. This particular re-lift was carried out in March 2022 using the Progress 79 cargo spacecraft from the Russian International Space Station. By igniting its engines for a few minutes, the ISS was placed at the appropriate altitude for the Soyuz for the new crew members arriving in March.
All propulsion for the ISS is provided by Russia’s in-orbit segment “Segment” and the Progress cargo spacecraft, NASA said. Propulsion is used for station re-lift, attitude control, maneuvering to avoid debris (and ultimately deorbiting operations). American gyroscopes provide day-to-day attitude control, that is, control the orientation of the space station. Russian thrusters are used for attitude control during dynamic events, such as spacecraft docking, and they provide attitude control recovery when the gyroscope reaches its control limit.