Press Release

Delivery of three GLONASS system satellites via Upper Stage DM to a working orbit

By SpaceRef Editor
December 27, 2006
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December 26, 2006. Baikonur Cosmodrome

On December 25th, 2006 at 23 hours 18 minutes Moscow Time, Proton-K Launch Vehicle (LV) with Upper Stage (US) DM carrying three Glonass-M satellites of Russian Global Navigation Satellite Systems GLONASS was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

It took Proton-K LV manufactured at GKNPTs after M.N. Khrunichev 10 minutes to deliver US DM together with SC to a low earth orbit with a perigee altitude of 158.9 km and apogee altitude of 164.1 km. Upper Stage DM manufactured at RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev transferred Glonass-M satellites made at NPO PM after academician M.F. Reshetnev from low earth orbit to a working low earth orbit of 19130 km by altitude over the period of 3 hours 22 minutes.

As per Mission Program, following two successive firings of US DM main engine performed with no comments, the satellites were separated from the block and changed over to autonomous flight on December 26th, 2006 at 02 hours 50 minutes. US processing at the cosmodrome and its launch support as part of Integrated Launch Vehicle were carried out under the technical direction of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia.

For reference: Similar launch of three GLONASS  navigation satellites was performed on December 25th, 2005 via US DM. All subsequent satellites of the same system are also scheduled to be placed into a working orbit using US of DM type to be manufactured at RSC Energia after S.P. Korlev.

This is the 263rd successful flight of US DM and the seventh flight of these Upper Stages over the year 2006.

Upper Stages of D, DM types developed and manufactured at RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev are designed to transfer spacecraft from low earth orbits to high-energy orbits (including GSO), as well as translunar trajectories and Solar Systeme planets. They have been in use since 1967, come in 11 modifications, six of them were developed back in the mid – (19)90s. They run on ecosafe propellant components (liquid oxygen and kerosene). Currently, they are in operational use together with heavy-class Proton-K LV and medium-class Zenit-3S LV being part of the sea-based Sea Launch Rocket and Space Complex.

SpaceRef staff editor.