Glonass-M delivered into orbit
A rocket, carrying the Glonass-M №54 navigation spacecraft, blasted off the Plesetsk launch site at 02:54 Moscow time The satellite was built by the Reshetnev Company.
The spacecraft rode into orbit aboard a Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat launch vehicle. The first communications session with the satellite confirmed its good health and that all its mechanical subsystems had deployed, Sun and Earth acquisition had been performed as designed.
Glonass-M №54 was put in the third orbital plane to provide positioning services from its position № 18.
Apart from the necessary, mission-critical equipment, the Glonass-M №54 spacecraft also accommodates a module of the high precision thermal stabilization system. This module which is a joint effort between ISS-Reshetnev Company and the Institute of Computer Simulation of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is expected to considerably boost the system accuracy. When this equipment receives a flight-proven status, it will be used onboard next-generation Glonass-K navigation satellites.
Four more Glonass-M satellites are due to be launched in 2014 to further develop and modernize the global navigation system GLONASS. Three spacecraft have already been completed and are currently stored at ISS-Reshetnev’s facilities waiting for launch. The fourth satellite is now going through its test program. In addition to that, the Reshetnev Company is building next seven Glonass-M satellites.