Get in line with ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer and his Expedition 66 crewmates to experience an orbital reboost of the International Space Station (ISS) from the inside. This video is sped up 8 times faster than real-time.
The International Space Station flies around Earth at around 400 km (250 miles). It is reboosted periodically to maintain its orbit and overcome the effects of atmospheric drag created by molecules of the atmosphere, which causes the Station to lose about 100 m of altitude per day.
A Space Station orbital reboost maneuver also optimizes phasing for future visiting vehicles arriving at the station. In March 2022 the ISS performed an orbital reboost using Russia’s ISS Progress 79 cargo craft. By firing its engines for several minutes, the station was put at the proper altitude for a crew ship orbit rendezvous and landing operations.
During the maneuver, the astronauts inside the station keep flying at the same speed and direction. While it seems like the astronauts are moving inside the station, it is in fact the ISS that gets the boost and is moving around them.