Russia’s Glonass-M satellite delivered into interim orbit
Moscow, May, 29. The Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the Glonass-M navigation satellite was launched at 11:45 a.m. Moscow time from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, “all prelaunch operations and blast-off were performed in a normal regime. Soyuz-2.1b was launched by an operational crew of the Russian Aerospace Force’s space troops.
This is the second launch of the Glonass-M satellite and the third launch of the Soyuz-2 medium-class carrier rocket from the Plesetsk cosmodrome this year. Over the last 12 years, 27 launches of Soyuz-2 carrier rockets in their upgraded 1a, 1b and 1v modifications have been carried out at the Plesetsk space port.
As Roscosmos State Corporation said earlier, up to eight satellites may join the Glonass system constellation by the end of 2017. Both Soyuz launch vehicles and Proton-M heavy carrier rockets may be used as launches. A source in the space rocket industry told TASS that the launch of a Proton carrier rocket with three Glonass satellites may take place already before the end of 2016.