Glonass-M spacecraft shipped to launch site
On the night of the Glonass-M #54 spacecraft left ISS-Reshetnev’s facilities and was transported by air to the Plesetsk cosmodrome.
As soon as the satellite arrived to the spaceport, the joint team of ISS-Reshetnev specialists and the cosmodrome’s staff members started the launch preparation campaign.
A Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat rocket with the navigation satellite Glonass-M #54 on board is scheduled for launch in mid-March. The exact launch date is due to be set at a meeting of the state commission.
It is planned that five satellites of the Glonass-M series will be delivered into orbit in 2014 in order to maintain the national navigation system GLONASS in its full operational capability. Three satellites will be launched in a batch of three, while the rest two will fly into orbit in two single launches.
The Glonass-M #54 will also carry an additional instrument – a high-accuracy thermal stabilization unit which was installed onto the spacecraft to undergo testing and flight qualification. Next-generation spacecraft intended for the GLONASS system are going to be equipped with this instrument to provide increased positioning accuracy.
Another three Glonass-M spacecraft have already been built by ISS-Reshetnev and are currently stored at the company’s premises waiting for launch.