Friday, September 03, 2010

Launch Notification: Cosmos 2464/2465/2466

Courtesy of AGI's Launch Notification e-mails. AGI's E-mails are sent after every launch and include key spacecraft information such as: the date, time, launch site, launcher, international number, name, and owner. Get more information on thousands of satellites and other vehicles by viewing STK models, animations, and our encyclopedic "Spacecraft Digest" database at

New Launch: 2010 September 2, 0053 UTC
Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Launcher: Proton-M
International Designator(s): 2010-041A, 2010-041B, 2010-041C

SSC Name Owner
37137 COSMOS 2464 CIS
37138 COSMOS 2465 CIS
37139 COSMOS 2466 CIS

"A Proton rocket blasted off overnight Wednesday with three spacecraft to help expand Russia's satellite navigation system to provide positioning services around the world.

"The Proton rocket launched at 0053 GMT Thursday (8:53 p.m. EDT Wednesday) from [P]ad 81 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where the first pink hues of sunrise splashed the dawn sky.

"With six main engines burning, the Proton soared into mostly clear skies and jettisoned its first stage two minutes after liftoff. The three-stage rocket deployed a Block DM upper stage and the three Glonass payloads in space less than 10 minutes into the mission.

"The Block DM was expected to fire twice to place the Glonass satellites in a circular orbit 12,000 miles [19,000 km] above Earth with an inclination of 64.8 degrees.

"Spacecraft separation occurred at 0426 GMT (12:26 a.m. EDT) in the targeted orbit, according to the Russian Space Agency.

"The satellites are the second group of Glonass platforms launched this year. Three other spacecraft were orbited by a Proton rocket March 1.

"Each satellite weighs about 3,000 pounds [1,360 kg] at launch, including maneuvering fuel to maintan the craft's orientation in space. The modernized Glonass M spacecraft are designed to operate for seven years in orbit, according to their manufacturer, Information Satellite Systems Reshetnev Co.

"Glonass satellites broadcast navigation signals to military and civilian users from their orbital perch, reaching ground receivers across a swath of Earth nearly stretching from pole to pole.

"According to a Russian Space Agency website, 21 Glonass satellites are currently operational. Two more spacecraft are considered spares.

"Glonass satellites are scattered in three orbital groups, each designed for eight spacecraft to achieve global navigation coverage with a total of 24 operating satellites.

"Three more Glonass M satellites are scheduled for launch in November."

[Note: Identifications were made using current orbital motion toward designated orbital slots reported by the Russian Space Agency.]

Source: Spaceflight Now, "Group of navigation satellites launched by Proton rocket"