Russia launches GLONASS-M 51 into orbit

February 8, 2016  - By


A GLONASS-M satellite was launched into orbit on Feb. 7 at 03:21 Moscow time from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome spaceport, reports the Russian space agency Roscosmos.  The Russian Defense Ministry successfully launched GLONASS-M 51 (known as 751 in orbit) aboard a Soyuz-2.1b rocket with a Fregat upper stage.

Three and a half hours after lift-off, the satellite separated from the upper stage and ground control established communications with it. The stable telemetry link shows that onboard satellite systems are functioning normally.

According to the telemetry data received from GLONASS-M 51, the satellite is in good health. 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 begun satellite’s performance check-out.

Status of the GLONASS constellation, shown here, indicates that the satellite is now in the commissioning phase.

GLONASS-M 51 will replace a GLONASS satellite now operating three years past its design life.

Based on the GLONASS system’s stable operation, there has been no need to launch new satellites to augment the system, said the satellite manufacturer. The most recent launch of a GLONASS satellite was performed in 2014.

Eight GLONASS-M navigation satellites are being stored at ISS-Reshetnev Company awaiting launch.

GLONASS orbital grouping provides a solution to problems of global positioning in the interests of the Russian Defense Ministry and civilian users. Access to civilian navigation signals of global navigation satellite system GLONASS is provided to Russian and foreign consumers free of charge and without restriction.

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