The launch of the Glonass-M satellite No. 53 from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in north Russia has been rescheduled from May 21 to May 29, Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems CEO Nikolay Testoyedov has said, as reported by Russian news agency TASS—he added that this launch postponement has nothing to do with the satellite’s condition.
Testoyedov said that this launch delay was the decision of the state commission and that a notice was received by his firm that the launch will now occur on the 29th. He indicated that he has no knowledge as to the reasoning behind the delay, other than that the satellite is not the reason for this occurrence.
Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos announced earlier that a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket was expected to bring a new Glonass-M satellite into orbit. As Roscosmos had reported, as many as eight satellites may replenish Russia’s grouping of the GLONASS satellite navigation system prior to the close of 2017. Both Soyuz spacecraft and Proton-M heavy carrier rockets may be used for the launches.
A source in the space rocket industry has told TASS that the launch of a Proton carrier rocket with three GLONASS satellites may actually occur before the end of 2016.