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Russia and India navigational satellites launched

Soyuz-2.1b rocket

A Soyuz-2.1b rocket launches a Glonass-M satellite.
Image: RIA Novosti. Andrei Morgunov.

 

On 24 March, a Russian Soyuz rocket launched a Glonass navigation satellite into orbit from Russia’s northern Plesetsk space center, inserting a Glonass-M satellite into orbit where it is now functioning normally. Additionally, India’s latest navigational satellite, IRNSS 1-B, will be launched on board a PSLV C-24 rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on 4 April.

The Glonass-M satellite (designated number 54) was manufactured by ISS-Reshetnev and is designed for a seven-year operational life.

It is planned that five satellites of the Glonass-M series will be delivered into orbit in 2014 in order to maintain the national navigation system GLONASS in its full operational capability. Three satellites will be launched in a batch of three, while the rest two will fly into orbit in two single launches.

The Glonass-M will also carry an additional instrument – a high-accuracy thermal stabilization unit which was installed onto the spacecraft to undergo testing and flight qualification. Next-generation spacecraft intended for the Glonass system are going to be equipped with this instrument to provide increased positioning accuracy.

The Indian IRNSS 1-B is the second of seven satellites planned for Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS), whose applications include terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management.

ISRO had launched IRNSS 1-A, the first in the series, on 1 July last year onboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-22.

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