Spaceflight Now Home





Mission Reports




For 14 years, Spaceflight Now has been providing unrivaled coverage of U.S. space launches. Comprehensive reports and voluminous amounts of video are available in our archives.
Space Shuttle
Atlas | Delta | Pegasus
Minotaur | Taurus | Falcon
Titan



NewsAlert



Sign up for our NewsAlert service and have the latest space news e-mailed direct to your desktop.

Enter your e-mail address:

Privacy note: your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose.



Advertisement






Space Books







Glonass navigation satellite launched by Soyuz rocket
BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW

Posted: June 14, 2014


Russia launched a Glonass navigation satellite Saturday on top of a Soyuz rocket, releasing the spacecraft into orbit about 12,000 miles above Earth three-and-a-half hours later.


File photo of a previous Soyuz launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Credit: Roscosmos
 
The Soyuz 2-1b rocket, crowned with a Russian Fregat upper stage, lifted off at 1716 GMT (1:16 p.m. EDT) from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome about 500 miles north of Moscow.

After a nine-minute ascent powered by the Soyuz rocket's three kerosene-fueled core stages, a Fregat upper stage fired its engine three times to boost the mission's Glonass navigation payload into a 12,000-mile-high orbit.

The Freget upper stage released the Glonass M spacecraft at 2053 GMT (4:53 p.m. EDT), and ground controllers established contact with the satellite as planned, according to a report by Russia's RIA Novosti news agency.

With a launch mass of 1,415 kilograms, or about 3,100 pounds, the satellite is designated No. 55 in the Glonass fleet and was manufactured by ISS Reshetnev. It is designed for a seven-year lifetime in orbit.

"According to the telemetry received from Glonass M No. 55, the satellite is in good health, all its mechanical subsystems have deployed normally, sun and Earth acquisition have been performed as designed," ISS Reshetnev said in a press release.

Saturday's Soyuz flight was the second launch of a Glonass navigation satellite this year.

The Glonass payload launched Saturday into the navigation system's third orbital plane to provide positioning services from orbital slot No. 21, according to Reshetnev.


Artist's concept of the Glonass navigation system. Credit: Roscosmos
 
The Glonass system has satellites in three orbital planes, each with eight spacecraft. Russia says it needs 24 operational satellites to maintain worldwide service.

Operated by the Russian military, the Glonass system broadcasts navigation signals to Russian military and civilian users around the world. It is Russia's counterpart to the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System.

As of June 14, the Glonass system comprised 29 satellites in orbit, including 24 operational spacecraft, two spares, two satellites undergoing checks by their contractor, and one platform in a flight testing phase, according to Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency.

The new satellite launched Saturday will enter service within a few weeks, officials said. It will transmit an experimental navigation signal in the L3 frequency band, in addition to the standard L1 and L2 signals.

Three more Glonass M spacecraft are set for launch before the end of 2014, according to ISS Reshetnev.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

John Glenn Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Final Shuttle Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Celebrate the shuttle program

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Anniversary Shuttle Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Mercury anniversary

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!


Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Fallen Heroes Patch Collection
The official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

INDEX | PLUS | NEWS ARCHIVE | LAUNCH SCHEDULE
ASTRONOMY NOW | STORE

ADVERTISE

© 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.