Roscosmos Delays GLONASS Launch
November 3, 2011
The Russian Federal Space Agency has delayed launch of three GLONASS-M satellites scheduled for today (November 3, 2011), according to the Russian state information agency RIA Novosti has reported. The agency provided no additional details on the cause of the one-day delay.
The launch will take place from the Baikonur space facility in Kazakhstan using the Proton-M carrier rocket, equipped with a Briz-M upper stager
The system curently has 23 operational satellites in orbit: eight each in planes 2 and 3 and seven in plane 1. The prototype next-generation GLONASS-K launched February 11 is in orbital plane 3 near slot 21, although (as pointed out by Dr. Richard Langley at the University of New Brunswick, Canada) it is using almanac slot 3, normally a plane 1 slot. The GLONASS-K spacecraft is undergoing flight tests, transmitting signals that have not been set "healthy."
The first production K-class satellite is set for launch on February 26, 2012. A GLONASS-M launched October 2 and located in plane 1, slot 4, was activated on October 25, replacing an older spacecraft that was taken out of service.
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