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MOSCOW, November 28 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Soyuz-2.1B with the Glonass-M navigation satellite has been successfully launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia, Space Forces spokesman, Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin told Itar-Tass on Monday.
“The launch of the rocket carrier proceeded as scheduled. At 12:28 the rocket was tracked by the ground-based measurement system. The Glonass-M satellite is expected to be taken under control at 16:03 Moscow time,” he said.
Russia plans to increase its Glonass orbital group to secure uninterrupted global navigation support. It is designed both for military and civil purposes.
As of November 28, there were 30 satellites in the orbital group, of them 23 were used for designated purpose.
Russia needs as a minimum of 18 effectively operating satellites to ensure year-round navigation signal all over its territory and 24 satellites – globally.
The Glonass-M is designed and manufactured by the Krasnoyarsk-based Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems JSC. The satellite’s weight is 1,415 kilograms and its active life cycle is 7 years. Satellites are evenly distributed in three orbital planes by eight in each and operate in circular orbits at altitudes of 19,100 kilometers.