News Item

GLONASS gains 3 satellites

On 14 December, a Proton rocket launched 3 GLONASS satellites in the hope that the constellation will provide coverage over the entire Russian territo

The launch took place at 1038 GMT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The 3 satellites were placed in a temporary parking orbit less than 10 minutes after liftoff and by 1400 GMT were in their 12,000-mile circular orbit with an inclination of 64.8°.

Each of the 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) satellites is designed for a 7-year operating life.

Before this launch, the constellation comprised 19 satellites - but one is being decommissioned and 2 are on maintenance. This launch should ensure coverage over Russian territory, requiring 18 spacecraft. Global service needs 24.

It had been planned to launch 6 GLONASS satellites in 2 launches in 2009, but September's launch was postponed for technical reasons - this launch is now scheduled for February.

  • 15 December 2009
  • Space

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