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GLONASS Launch Is Back On for October 25

WEB Glonass-M.jpgRussia's GLONASS-M
October 19, 2007

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Investigation into a Proton-M rocket failure in September, which appeared to threaten the schedule for continued rebuilding of the GLONASS constellation, has cleared the launcher and Baikonur facility for renewed activity, including a scheduled October 25 launch of three GLONASS-M satellites.

A Russian investigation of the September 6 accident concluded that a defective cable had prevented the firing of explosive bolts, which allow the rocket’s first stage to separate from the second stage at the appropriate moment. The Proton's October 24 GLONASS launch will be the first since the incident.

As of October 19, GLONASS had 13 operational satellites in orbit, three of which were temporarily switched off. Another three spacecraft are being decommissioned. Another three GLONASS-M spacecraft are scheduled for launch on December 25, 2007.

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