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Satnews Daily
June 16th, 2014

Russia—GLONASS-M Flung Into Orbit (Launch)

[SatNews] Lifting off at 1:16 p.m. EDT from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on June 14th, Russia launched their next GLONASS navigation satellite via a Soyuz launch vehicle.

The satellite—GLONASS-M 55—reached and was released into its orbital slot three-and-a-half hours later, some 12,000 miles above the Earth. The satellite had a launch mass of 1,415kg (3,100 lbs) and was manufactured by ISS Reshetnev, and possesses a seven year life expectancy on orbit. This was the second launch of a GLONASS navsat this year by Russia... there are eight spacecraft in three orbital planes, with 24 such satellites required to bring total worldwide service to the GLONASS system.

Within a few weeks, this new satellite will become operational, complete with L1 and L2 navigation signals, as well as the transmission of L3 frequency band experimental navigation system signals (CDMA, rather than FDMA). Prior to the close of 2014, three additional GLONASS M satellites are expected to be launched.