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Russia Developing Satellites with Longer Mission Lives

19 июля 2007
Russia's Applied Mechanics Research and Production Corporation (NPO PM, Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Territory) is developing new-generation satellites with longer service lives. A longer service life reduces the number of required launch vehicles and cuts down launch-related spending. NPO PM General Director Nikolai Testoyedov said the company has designed and launched a new-generation telecommunications satellite with a service life of seven years, compared with one to three years typical of older models, and is working to extend satellites' service life to 10 years.

A multi-purpose communications satellite, launched from Plesetsk under a contract with the Defense Ministry in December 2006 replaced four satellites in orbit, Testoyedov said.

"We are to launch one satellite for the Defense Ministry in 2007 and several others in 2008," he said.

NPO PM specializes in designing satellites intended for telecommunications, navigation, geodesic and cartographic missions, he added. The corporation has been developing the Glonass-K next-generation satellite with an active service life of 10-12 years. The old Glonass satellites had a service life of three years and Glonass-M satellites' service life is seven years.

These satellites feature a reduced weight of only 750kg, and offer an additional L-Band navigational signal. As with the previous satellites, these are 3-axis stabilized, nadir pointing with dual solar arrays. They will enter service following the Glonass-M inventory depletion, expected in 2008.

Due to their weight reduction, Glonass-K spacecraft can be launched in pairs from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome launch site using the substantially lower cost Soyuz-2 1a boosters or in six-at-once from the Baikonur Cosmodrome using Proton-K Briz-M launch vehicles.

The ground control segment of Glonass is entirely located within former Soviet Union territory. The Ground Control Center and Time Standards is located in Moscow and the telemetry and tracking stations are in Saint Petersburg, Ternopol, Eniseisk, Komsomolsk-na-Amure.

Satnews Daily

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