A Glonass navigation satellite on top of a
After a 9 minute ascent powered by the
The Freget upper stage released the Glonass M spacecraft at
With a launch mass of 1,415 kilograms, or about 3,100 pounds, the satellite is designated No. 55 in the Glonass fleet and was made by ISS Reshetnev. It is planned for a seven-year lifetime in orbit.
ISS Reshetnev said, "According to the telemetry received from Glonass M No. 55, the satellite is in good health, all its mechanical subsystems have deployed normally, sun and Earth acquisition have been performed as designed .
The Glonass payload launched Saturday into the navigation system's third orbital plane to offer positioning services from orbital slot No. 21, according to Reshetnev. The Glonass system has satellites in three orbital planes, each with eight spacecraft.
Operated by the Russian military, the Glonass system broadcasts navigation signals to Russian military and civilian users around the world. It is
The new satellite launched Saturday will enter service within a few weeks, officials said. It will transmit an experimental navigation signal in the L3 frequency band, in addition to the standard L1 and L2 signals.
According to ISS Reshetnev the three more Glonass M spacecraft are set for launch before the end of 2014.
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