News & Press: Space

GLONASS satellite launched

04 November 2018   (0 Comments)
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GLONASS-M No 57 was launched from Plesetsk on 3 November 2018.

The Soyuz-2-1b launch vehicle with Fregat upper stage lifted off at 2318 local time (2018 UTC) on 3 November. After ~10 minutes, the 3rd Soyuz stage separated from the Fregat-M which, some 2.5 hours later, placed the GLONASS-M satellite in its 19,130 km altitude orbit - one of 3 orbits inclined at 64.8º.

Prior to this launch there were 26 GLONASS satellites in the constellation - 24 operational, 1 in maintenance and 1 under test. Worldwide Full Operational Capability (FOC) requires the 24 current M satellites, one of which will be replaced by this launch.

Two satellites already in the constellation are ‘K’ variants - they and some later Ms are developing code division multiple access (CDMA) transmissions rather than the current frequency division multiple access (FDMA). It is hoped that by ~2025 all 4 worldwide GNSS will be interoperable, using common frequencies and CDMA.

Details from TASS