Russia launches new GPS-type Glonass satellite

Russia today used its Soyuz-2 rocket to place a new GPS-type Glonass satellite into orbit, lifting off from its Plesetsk spaceport in the northern Russian.

Apparently this launch resulted in its lower stages falling in areas in Russia not normally used as a drop zone. No word on whether they landed near habitable areas.

The leaders in the 2023 launch race:

53 SpaceX (with a launch planned for tonight, live stream here.)
31 China
10 Russia
6 Rocket Lab
6 India

American private enterprise still leads China in successful launches 61 to 31, and the entire world combined 61 to 52, while SpaceX by itself leads the world (excluding American companies) 53 to 52.

Soyuz-2 launches new Russian GPS-type satellite

Russia early today launched another satellite for its Glonass GPS-type constellation, using its Soyuz-2 rocket lifting off from its Plesetsk launch site.

After the Soviet Union fell in 1991, Russia’s Glonass constellation withered, with the country for years unable to replace the satellites as they aged and died. Only after free enterprise was encouraged in the 1990s and 2000s and the economy began to boom did the Russian government finally have enough tax dollars to begin launching replacements.

The Russian invasion of the Ukraine will certainly put a crimp in this recovery. As has Putin’s policy of using the government to nationalize many industries, such as its aerospace sector.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

46 SpaceX
43 China
13 Russia
8 Rocket Lab

American private enterprise still leads China 66 to 43 in the national rankings, and the entire globe combined 66 to 64.

Russia launches new GPS-type satellite

Russia today successfully launched another one of its GPS-type Glonass satillites, using its Soyuz-2 rocket lifting off from its Plesetsk spaceport.

This was the first launch of this type of satellite in more than five years due to an inability to get parts because of U.S. sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In response, the Russian government instituted an export-replacement program aimed at providing indigenously produced electronics for the nation’s industries. The effort was complicated by the need in some cases to build entire factories virtually from scratch.

Around 2016, ISS Reshetnev, the prime developer of GLONASS satellites, began re-designing the GLONASS-K variant for the Russian-built components. It is unclear to what extent the original GLONASS-K series relied on foreign components, but the new batch of spacecraft did not come out of assembly until the end of the 2010s.

The leaders in the 2020 launch race:

26 China
18 SpaceX
12 Russia
4 Europe

The U.S. continues to lead China 28 to 26 in the national rankings.