by Staff Writers
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Jun 16, 2014
The Soyuz-2.1b rocket with GLONASS-M navigation satellite on board has been successfully launched from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia, Aerospace Defense Forces spokesman Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin said.
"After separation from the upper stage on June 15 at 00.53 [MSK, 20:53 GMT], GLONASS-M spacecraft was taken under control of the Titov Main Test and Space Systems Control Center of the Russian Aerospace Defense Space Command," he said.
The control room has established contact with the satellite and says it is functioning normally, Zolotukhin added.
It has been the second launch of GLONASS-M satellite this year and the fourth time when it has been sent into orbit from Plesetsk.
The Soyuz-2.1b modernized rocket was designed according to Russian technology using materials manufactured in Russia.
The rocket differs from all previous models in its digital control system, which helps adjust its trajectory more accurately.
Plesetsk has been the site of Russia's GLONASS satellite launches since February 26, 2011, when the first new generation GLONASS-K spacecraft was put into orbit by Soyuz-2.1 medium booster.
Until that time, all GLONASS-K satellites were launched on Proton rockets from Baikonur Cosmodrome.
GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) is the Russian equivalent to the US Global Positioning System (GPS), with its network providing real-time positioning and speed data for land, sea, and airborne receivers.
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