New GLONASS Launch

Russia launched three new GLONASS satellites on 25 December 2005 as scheduled. All are being placed in orbit plane 3.  This will complete the population of orbit planes 1 and 3.  (Orbit plane 2 has no satellites.)  In addition, one of the current operational satellites (GLONASS No. 793) is being moved from slot 23 to slot 20 in orbit plane 3.  Two of the new satellites are the newer GLONASS-M version and the third is the older type satellite.  The new satellites are GLONASS numbers 798, 714 (M-type) and 713 (M-type) and will be in slots 19, 23 and 24, respectively.  When these are put into service, the constellation will consist of 16 satellites.  Note that users with combined GPS-GLONASS receivers may now have as many as 45 satellites available for GNSS applications.

One launch is scheduled in 2006, with a goal of an 18-satellite constellation in 2007.