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Russia successfully launches Glonass-M navigation satellite

Published on June 19, 2018
MOSCOW, June 17, as per a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry, Russia successfully launched a Glonass-M positioning satellite using a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket.
  • The Space Forces, a branch of the Aerospace Forces, launched the satellite from the Plesetsk space center in Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast at 00:46 local time (2146 GMT).
  • The Glonass network provides real-time positioning data for surface, sea and airborne objects around the globe, at an accuracy reportedly on par with the U.S. Global Positioning System.
  • There are now 26 Glonass satellites in orbit.

Facts to know about the Glonass-M satellite:

  • It was built by Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems (formerly NPO-PM).
  • It has design life of 7 years which is significantly higher than that of previous generation of Glonass satellites.
  • It is about 2.4 x 3.7 meters in size with solar array span of 7.2 meters.
  • It has two deployable solar arrays which provide 1600 watts of electrical power.
  • The heart of the satellite is Caesium atomic clock that provides accurate timing reference needed to generate navigation data.

About Glonass:

  • Glonass is Russian Satellite Navigation System considered as counterpart to GPS of US, Galileo of European Union (EU) and Beidou of China.
  • It is being used by military as well as commercial customers.
  • It provides real time position and velocity determination at accuracy that can be compared to that of GPS.
  • It has accuracy of 100 meters as part of public segment and 10 to 20 meters for military users. Its time accuracy is under 1000 nanoseconds.
  • Glonass Program started back in 1976 when development was initiated.
  • The first Glonass launch took place in 1982 and the constellation became fully operational in 1995.
  • Currently, second generation Glonass-M satellites as well as Glonass-K1 satellites are in service.
  • Glonass-K2 and KM satellites are under development.

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