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GLONASS company to build 27 more satellites

Artist's rendering of a Glonass-K satellite. (Image: ISS-Reshetnev)

Artist’s rendering of a Glonass-K satellite. (Image: ISS-Reshetnev)

ISS-Reshetnev Company — the primary GLONASS contractor — has a backlog of orders for navigation satellites up to 2025, according to General Director Nikolay Testoyedov.

Testoyedov discussed GLONASS production on Dec. 30, 2019, at a meeting hosted by ISS-Reshetnev Company for Russia’s Science and Technical Council.

“Within the Federal Target Program, GLONASS ISS-Reshetnev Company is tasked with the production of 27 navigation satellites,” Testoyedov said. “Taking all things together, we plan to double the number of satellites launched in 2020 compared to 2019.”

The orders require production at full capacity at the company’s facilities. At any given time, about 50 satellites are in varying stages of production, including 12 ground spares. Some of them are slated for launch in 2020.

In 2019 eight satellites designed and built by the company were launched into various orbits. As of today,  104 ISS-Reshetnev-made satellites are in space, or two-thirds of Russia’s entire orbital fleet of satellites. ISS-Reshetnev also successfully completed several projects for the manufacture of satellite onboard systems and instruments, including the international ExoMars-2020 program slated to launch this year.

Glonass-M satellite goes into service

The Glonass-M navigation satellite launched on Dec. 11, 2019, entered service Jan. 13.

A joint team of experts representing ISS-Reshetnev Company and the operating organization successfully completed all procedures moving the Glonass-M satellite to its proper orbital position, and switched on its main instruments. To this date, all the required data has been received from the satellite, which allowed it to be commissioned into service.

The new Glonass-M replaced a retired satellite of the GLONASS constellation that had surpassed its designed life expectancy by seven years.

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