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Monday, February 8, 2016

Russia Launches First GLONASS-M Navigation Satellite in More Than a Year

As reported by Inside GNSSIn its first GLONASS-M launch in more than a year, Russia lifted a satellite into orbit yesterday (3:21 a.m. Moscow time, February 7, 2016) from the Pletsetsk Cosmodrome, after being postponed from December.

GLONASS-M #51 (GLONASS constellation designation #751) will replace a 10-year-old satellite (GC#714) that ceased operations last October in slot 17, orbital plane 3 of the constellation.
The satellite reached orbit aboard a Soyuz-2.1b rocket with a Fregat upper stage. Three and a half hours from the lift off the satellite separated from the upper stage and ground control established communications with it, according to Information Satellite Systems (ISS) – Reshetnev Company, which built the spacecraft.
According to the telemetry data received from GLONASS #51, the satellite is in good health, Reshetnev said in a news release. “With all its mechanical subsystems successfully deployed, the satellite completed Earth and Sun acquisition. The Moscow-based System Control System and ISS-Reshetnev’s Information and Computation Center have already begun satellite’s performance check-out.” 

Eight launch-ready GLONASS-M navigation satellites are currently stored at ISS-Reshetnev Company.