Once Again The Proton Adds Three More Satellites to Russia’s CLONASS
A Proton M launch vehicle with three GLONASS navigation satellites onboard was launched successfully from Baikonur at 22:32 Moscow time (MT) yesterday, on December 25.
The launch, carried out by Russian Space Forces launch crew, proceeded nominally.
The GLONASS spacecrafts were placed into predicted orbit and then separated from by “Energia” RSC–made DM upper stage at 02:04:42 (MT) today, on December 26.
The launch was conducted under the Russian Federation “Global Navigation System Program”- CLONASS.
GLONASS is a dual –purpose global navigation system designed to serve the Russian Ministry of Defense and civil users. The system is intended to provide continues navigation coverage allowing unlimited number of domestic and foreign users at sea, in the air, and land to determine precise coordinates, velocity and time.
Since its initial launch, the CLONASS family has been delivered into orbit aboard Proton launch vehicle.
25 December Proton mission marks the final space launch of this year for Russia.
In 2008 the Proton M vehicle will continue to carry out missions under CLONASS program.