Moscow: new generation navigation satellite Glonass-K was launched from the Plesetsk space centre in Russia's northwestern Arkhangelsk region, the Russian defence ministry confirmed Monday.
The satellite was launched on board a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with a Fregat upper stage, Russian defence ministry spokesman Alexey Zolotukhin said.
“The carrier rocket was launched in a normal mode,” Zolotukhin said.
This is the fifth launch of a Global Navigation Satellite System satellite or Glonass from the Plesetsk space centre. The first launch of a Glonass satellite from Plesetsk took place Feb 26, 2011.
Glonass is a space-based satellite navigation system operated by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces and is Russia's equivalent of the US Global Positioning System (GPS).
By 2010, Glonass had achieved 100 percent coverage of Russia's territory and in October 2011, the full orbital constellation of 24 satellites was restored, which allowed the system to cover the entire globe.
The Glonass satellites' designs have undergone several upgrades, with the latest version being Glonass-K.
Developed by the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems, the Glonass-K marks a substantial improvement over the previous Glonass-M second-generation satellites, having a longer lifespan and better accuracy.
Earlier, all Glonass satellite launches had been made from the Baikonur space centre that Russia had leased from Kazakhstan, with the help of Proton-M carrier rockets.