GLONASS sets new standards for reliability

The news went unnoticed, but in vain. The concern is that the reliability of the GLONASS satellite systems and their removal has exceeded the usual (and apparently inherent in the technical documentation) bar. Now the Russian Space Agency will have to get used to deal with a more robust domestic appliances :)

In orbit is now quite serviceable spacecraft and replace them makes no sense, according to the Russian Space Agency

Planned for the autumn of this year, the simultaneous launch of three GLONASS satellites are likely to be postponed to a later date, told "Izvestia" in Roskosmos. The reason — a stable operation of all devices constellation at present.

— Now fully staffed group and three new devices impractical to run, — said deputy director TsNIIMASH, one of the authors of the Federal Program to support GLONASS Sergei Jealous. — It would be better to run the satellites in the next year, when the fit-schedule replacement spacecraft.

The warranty period in orbit for «Glonass-M" is seven years. Currently, the GLONASS constellation are 24 basic unit "Glonass-M", launched from the period 2006 to 2011. In Spares four more suitable to use the device. One launched last year, another one — at the end of 2007, and the two moons of expired active life: one is flying 91 a month, the other — 79. Also in orbit flight test runs newest spacecraft "Glonass-K1" — after testing it can be used in the system as a full-time companion. Another two spacecraft, launched in 2008, are "on the research chief designer." This means that the full use of them for navigation is not possible, but certain functional units saved, and with them the need for some experiments are carried out.

— Grouping last start behaving very stable, all devices operate smoothly — confirms Testoedov Nicholas, CEO of the manufacturer of satellites "Glonass", JSC "Information Satellite Systems Academician MF Reshetnev "(ISS). — The belief that the launch of the three "Glonass-M" is postponed to a later date, it seems reasonable to me. The devices are ready, the carrier is ready for them, but the decision on the appointment of the launch date will be made by the State Commission towards the end of this year, given the state of the orbital group.

Testoedov added that, in any event, the launch of this year preparing "Glonass-K2" — the second satellite in the series of flight tests of navigation spacecraft third generation. "Glonass-K2" has already made, said the head of "ISS Reshetnev."

Ability to delay the launch of three satellites because of the lack of need suggests that in drawing up the program for production and space launches its authors had in mind a much more pessimistic scenario. Recall that in December 2010 the launch of ligaments of the three "Glonass-M" from Baikonur ended in failure and spacecraft fell into the Pacific Ocean. It not been for that accident, the current reserve satellites would look even more impressive, and then, perhaps, we would be dealing not to postpone the start of one, but of correcting the program starts, provided for in the federal program for the development and maintenance of GLONASS for 2012-2020. In the Russian Space Agency, by the way, this does not rule out, as the schedule starts navigation satellites for the near future looks very dense. If starting three "Glonass-M" will be transferred this year to the next, in 2013, in accordance with the approved schedule for today, will launch seven satellites for the GLONASS system. Scheduled for 2014 launch another six satellites, one of which is intended for flight tests, five others — for regular work in the system. It turns out that two years is planned to update the GLONASS satellite fleet exactly half, despite the fact that now everything is working well and the replacement of any of the devices is not required.

In monetary terms, the refusal of the launch of three satellites with one rocket "Proton-M" budget savings of more than 5 billion rubles: 1,380,000,000 is the missile itself, 436 million — the upper stage "Breeze-M", 846 million — each satellite "Glonass-M "170 million — fairing, 50 million worth of transportation of all components at Baikonur and 550 million — a set of launch services.

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