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Russia postpones launch of Glonass-M satellite — source

January 11, 2016, 13:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The launch of the satellite, originally planned to be launched in December last year, has been postponed from late January to February 7

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© Oleg Urusov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. The launch of Russia’s navigation satellite Glonass-M No. 51 has been postponed from late January to February 7, a source in the space rocket industry has told TASS.

The satellite was brought to the northern space site Plesetsk in late November. Originally it was to be put in orbit with a Soyuz-2.1b rocket and a Frigat booster on December 29 last year. The satellite’s manufacturer - Reshetnev Information Satellite System - eventually declared a postponement till late January.

Glonass-M No. 51 is to replace a satellite which is three years past the expiry date, the manufacturer said. It is the first satellite from the ground reserve of Russian navigation satellites to have been brought to the Plesetsk space site. The previous launch of a satellite of the Glonass-M family - the backbone of the national orbital cluster, took place in the summer of 2014. The Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems has eight such satellites in stock.

The source in the space rocket industry has told TASS a new date has been set of launching a Rokot rocket carrying Europe’s Sentinel 3A satellite, originally to be put in space on October 31.

"The satellite is to blast off at 20:53 on February 4," the source said.

Its launch has been postponed several times. Sentinel 3A is meant for monitoring the oceans and climate change from a sun-synchronous orbit about 800 kilometers high.

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