Russia launches final GLONASS-M navigation satellite into orbit

A Soyuz rocket launches a GLONASS-M navigation satellite from Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Nov. 28, 2022.
A Soyuz rocket launches a GLONASS-M navigation satellite from Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Nov. 28, 2022. (Image credit: Roscosmos)

Russia added another piece to its GLONASS satellite-navigation network on Monday (Nov. 28).

A Soyuz rocket rocket topped with a GLONASS-M satellite lifted off from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia Monday at 10:17 a.m. EST (1517 GMT; 6:17 p.m. Moscow time).

The spacecraft was successfully delivered to its target orbit and has received the designation Cosmos 2564, Roscosmos, Russia's federal space agency, announced via Telegram (opens in new tab) shortly after the launch.

Related: 14 things every cosmonaut does for launch

GLONASS is a satellite-navigation network, Russia's equivalent of the United States' Global Positioning System (GPS), China's Beidou and Europe's Galileo.

The satellite that went up on the Soyuz Monday was apparently the 61st and final spacecraft in the GLONASS-M line, according to Anatoly Zak of RussianSpaceWeb.com (opens in new tab). It will operate from a circular orbit about 12,000 miles (19,000 kilometers) above Earth, Zak wrote.

GLONASS-M is a venerable line; the first spacecraft in the series launched in 2003. Russia is transitioning to newer variants such as the GLONASS-K, which debuted in 2011.

The past few months have been busy for Roscosmos and Russia's larger space industry. The country has launched eight orbital missions since Oct. 10, and it sent two cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Soyuz spacecraft on Sept. 21.

All of this action is occurring against the backdrop of Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which began in February. The invasion has cost Russia some of its longstanding space partnerships; Soyuz rockets no longer fly out of Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, for example, and the European Space Agency has ended cooperation with Russia on its life-hunting ExoMars rover, named Rosalind Franklin. Russia had been tapped to contribute a landing platform and a rocket for the mission.

Mike Wall is the author of "Out There (opens in new tab)" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).  

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com (opens in new tab) and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.