News courtesy of CANSPACE Listserv.
Luch-5B, the second of a set of three geostationary satellites being launched to reactivate Roscosmos’s Luch Multifunctional Space Relay System, has been delivered to the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It arrived together with the Yamal-300K satellite in a single shipping container aboard an Antanov An-124-100 Ruslan flight from Krasnoyarsk.
This marked the first time that Information Satellite Systems – Reshetnev has used the special container, which is large enough to carry two middle-class spacecraft at one time. According to the company, sophisticated equipment fitted with a control system that helps monitor the environment inside the container helps avoid any chances of external damage or unwanted environmental impact during transportation.
Luch-5B is now undergoing preparations for launch.
The Luch system will be used to relay communications and telemetry between low-Earth-orbiting spacecraft, such as the the Russian segment of International Space Station, and Russian ground facilities.
The system’s satellites also carry transponders for the System for Differential Correction and Monitoring (SDCM), Russia’s satellite-based augmentation system. The transponders will broadcast GNSS corrections on the standard GPS L1 frequency using C/A PRN codes assigned by DoD’s Global Positioning Systems Directorate.
As previously reported, Luch-5A, which was launched on 11 December 2011, has been placed in an orbital slot at 95 degrees east longitude. It began transmitting corrections on July 12, 2012, using PRN code 140.
Luch-5B, scheduled for launch on September 7, 2012, will be positioned at 16 degrees west longitude.
Satellite Luch-5B in an anechoic chamber at ISS-Reshetnev.