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Previously Delayed GLONASS Satellites Launched

Previously Delayed GLONASS Satellites Launched

March 2, 2010 By: Richard B. Langley

Roscosmos has confirmed a successful launch of the GLONASS-M satellites on March 1 at 21:19 UTC. The satellites were released from the upper stage at 00:52 UTC on March 2.

"In the first communication session with the satellites, telemetry data was obtained that confirmed that the state of all systems of the spacecraft is normal and corresponds to the flight program," Roscosmos said in a statement.

This launch was the Block 40 GLONASS launch postponed from September 2009. The satellites launched are numbers 31, 32, and 35. Numbers 31 and 32, along with number 30, were in the original Block 40 manifest but were shipped back to the Reshetnev plant when a problem occurred with a satellite already on orbit. The new satellites shared some component history with the faulty satellite and needed to be serviced at the factory before flight. Satellite 30 was included in the Block 41 triad launched on December 14, 2009. The Block 40 satellites are expected to be in service in April, according to Roscosmos.

Likely in preparation for the launch of the three new satellites, GLONASS authorities have formally decommissioned two satellites that have been unusable for months. GLONASS 701, in slot 6 (orbit plane 1) and the first of the operational GLONASS-M satellites to be placed in orbit, was decommissioned on February 27. It had been set unhealthy since since June 18, 2009. GLONASS 713, in slot 24 (orbit plane 3), was decommissioned on February 28, 2010. It had been set unhealthy since November 2, 2009.



Scheduled timeline (UTC) of events:
21:19:44 — Proton-M liftoff
21:29:30 — DM-2 separation from Proton-M third stage
21:55:59...22:02:15 — DM-2 first burn
00:49:02...00:51:36 — DM-2 second burn
00:51:51 — GLONASS-M block separation from DM-2

NORAD is tracking four objects (the satellites and the DM-2 fourth stage engine) in near circular orbits close to the usual GLONASS orbit height. Further tracking data and analysis will be required to determine which satellite is which.

OBJECT A
1 36400U 10007A   10061.01638160  .00000024  00000-0  00000+0 0    13
2 36400 064.9920 154.6746 0019598 035.0614 325.0959 02.12476589    06


OBJECT B
1 36401U 10007B   10061.01678030  .00000024  00000-0  00000+0 0    14
2 36401 064.7140 154.4440 0033304 040.5927 319.7043 02.12008990    08

OBJECT C
1 36402U 10007C   10061.01623522  .00000024  00000-0  00000+0 0    11
2 36402 064.7725 154.5000 0005108 115.7778 244.0714 02.12924317    06

OBJECT D
1 36403U 10007D   10061.01661501  .00000024  00000-0  00000+0 0    11
2 36403 064.7664 154.4868 0008060 176.6485 183.4263 02.13267944    03

Videos and Photos

Live video of the launch is available here. Click on the link at bottom of the web page. Coverage runs from 19:20 to 22:20 UTC (14:20 to 17:20 EST). TV Roscosmos has added two new videos of launch preparations on its website and on YouTube. Other launch videos are from the Russian TV news channel Russia 24, including the clip of live launch coverage.

Launch photos are available here.

Notice Advisory to GLONASS Users Issued

Here is the NAGU announcing the launch:

015-100302

NOTICE ADVISORY TO GLONASS USERS (NAGU) 015-100302

SUBJ:  LAUNCH SUMMARY BLOCK 40

  1. CONDITION: BLOCK 40 LAUNCH WAS PERFORMED ON 02.03.2010 (00:19:44). THE NEW GLONASS SATELLITE (731/KOSMOS 2459, 732/KOSMOS 2460, 735/KOSMOS 2461, ) WILL BE PLACED INTO SLOTS 22/23/24 CORRESPONDENTLY.
  2. USERS ARE REMINDED TO UPDATE ALMANACS IF NECESSARY.

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