A GLONASS-M global positioning satellite reached the designated orbit following separation from the Fregat upper stage, spokesman for the Aerospace Defense Forces Col. Alexei Zolotukhin told Interfax-AVN.
"The satellite's separation proceeded in an orderly manner. After the satellite reached the target orbit control over it was taken over by the Titov Main Testing Space Center," he said.
Stable telemetric communication has been established with the satellite. All of its systems are functioning properly, Zolotukhin said.
A Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with a Fregat upper stage and a GLONASS-M satellite was launched from the Plesetsk launch pad at 9:16 p.m. Moscow time on Saturday.
GLONASS-M satellites have been designed and are manufactured at the Krasnoyarsk-based Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems company. The satellite weighs 1,415 kilograms. Its design service life is seven years.
GLONASS-M No.55 is fitted out with L3 band experimental equipment which will undergo flight certification and will be tested for navigation accuracy. The use of the L3 band alongside L1 and L2 aims to enhance the GLONASS system\'s competitiveness, the company said.
Soyuz-2.1b is a medium-class three-stage liquid-fuel carrier rocket, designed and deeply modernized by the Samara-based TsSKB-Progress company on the basis of the Soyuz-U launch vehicle.
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