Satellite launched to augment GLONASS system
A Glonass-M navigation satellite, designed and built by Information Satellite Systems – Reshetnev Company, was launched on February 7, 2016 at 3:21 Moscow time from the Plesetsk cosmodrome.
The Glonass-M №51 was put into orbit aboard a Soyuz-2.1b rocket with a Fregat upper stage. Three and a half hours from the lift off the satellite separated from the upper stage and ground control established communications with it.
According to the telemetry data received from Glonass-M №51, the satellite is in good health. With all its mechanical subsystems successfully deployed, the satellite completed Earth and Sun acquisition. The Moscow-based System Control System and ISS-Reshetnev’s Information and Computation Center have already begun satellite’s performance check-out.
Based on the GLONASS system’s stable operation, there has been no need of launching new satellites to augment the system. The most recent launch of a navigation satellite was performed back in 2014.
There are eight ready Glonass-M navigation satellites currently stored at ISS-Reshetnev Company waiting for launch.