MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – A new model of the Russian GLONASS navigation system satellite will be launched at the end of this year, the JSC Information Satellite Systems, a leading Russian satellite manufacturing company, announced Wednesday.
“In November–December, 2014 we will launch the new GLONASS-K spacecraft. The launch is planned to be implemented from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome [in northern Russia] using a Soyuz 2.1b carrier rocket,” Yury Vygonsky, deputy general designer for space systems development, general engineering and satellite control at JSC Information Satellite Systems, told journalists.
Vygonsky noted that in addition, three GLONASS-M satellites will be launched from the Baikonur space center in April-May, 2015.
“If the launches are successful, three more GLONASS-Ms will be launched at the end of 2015 using Proton rockets,” Vygonsky said.
Plesetsk has been the site of Russia’s GLONASS satellite launches since February 26, 2011, when the first new generation GLONASS-K spacecraft was put into orbit by the Soyuz 2.1 medium-class carrier rocket. Until that time, all GLONASS-K satellites were launched on Proton rockets from the Baikonur space center.
GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System), which was put into operation in 1993, is considered to be Russia’s response to the American Global Positioning System (GPS). The network provides real-time positioning and speed data for surface, sea and airborne objects.