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Fifteen positioning satellites were launched in 2015

Jan.10,2016

The launch of the Russian GLONASS-M positioning satellite scheduled for the end of last year was delayed until the New Year, which means that a total of 15 positioning satellites were launched in the year 2015. Here we will look back in order at the positioning satellites that were launched, from GPS IIF-9 in March to Galileo FOC-8 and 9 in December.

A series of five satellites was launched in late March

GPS Block IIF-9 was launched in March (source: United Launch Alliance)

GPS Block IIF-9 was launched in March (source: United Launch Alliance)

▽ GPS Block IIF-9
The GPS Block IIF-9 positioning satellite was launched on a Delta IV rocket at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the United States at 14:36 local time on March 25 (03:36 on March 26 JST).

▽ Galileo FOC-3, 4
Two satellites (FOC-3 and 4) in the Galileo global navigation satellite system were launched on a Soyuz rocket at the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana at 18:46 local time on March 27 (06:46 on March 28 JST).
They are the seventh and eighth Galileo satellites, and the third and fourth for its Full Operational Capability (FOC).

▽ IRNSS-1D
The IRNSS-1D positioning satellite was launched on a PSLV rocket at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in southeast India at 17:19 local time on March 28 (20:49 JST). It is the fourth satellite in the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS).

▽ BeiDou-3 I1
A third-generation positioning satellite (called “BeiDou-3”) was launched on a Long March rocket at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province, China at 21:52 local time on March 30 (22:52 JST). It is the first third-generation satellite launch and the seventeenth BeiDou satellite.

One GPS satellite, three BeiDou-3 satellites, and two Galileo satellites were launched from July to September

Galileo FOC-5 and 6 were launched in September (source: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut, 2015)

Galileo FOC-5 and 6 were launched in September (source: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut, 2015)

▽ GPS Block IIF-10
The GPS Block IIF-10 positioning satellite was launched on an Atlas V rocket at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 11:36 local time on July 15 (0:36 on July 16 JST).

▽ BeiDou-3 M1-S, M2-S
Two BeiDou-3 positioning satellites (M1-S and M2-S) were launched on Long March rockets at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 20:29 local time on July 25 (21:29 JST). These were the eighteenth and nineteenth BeiDou satellites launched.

▽ Galileo FOC-5, 6
Two satellites in the Galileo system were launched on Soyuz rockets at the Guiana Space Centre at 23:08 local time on September 10 (11:08 on September 11 JST). These are the ninth and tenth Galileo satellites, and the fifth and sixth for its FOC.

▽ BeiDou-3 I2-S
A BeiDou-3 positioning satellite (I2-S) was launched on a Long March rocket at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 07:13 local time on September 30 (08:13 JST). This was the fourth launch in the third generation after the one satellite launched on March 30 and the two satellites launched on July 25. It is the twentieth satellite in the overall BeiDou system.

Reference websites

GPS, GAGAN, and Galileo satellites were launched from the end of October

GSAT-15 was launched in November (source: 2015 ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE/Optique video du CSG - P BAUDON)

GSAT-15 was launched in November (source: 2015 ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE/Optique video du CSG - P BAUDON)

▽GPS Block IIF-11
GPS Block IIF-11, the eleventh GPS Block IIF satellite, was launched on an Atlas V rocket at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 12:13 local time on October 31 (01:13 on November 1 JST). (IIF-12, the last Block IIF satellite, will be launched in early February.)

▽GSAT-15 (GAGAN)
GSAT-15, a geostationary satellite of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket at the Guiana Space Centre at 18:34 local time on November 10 (06:34 on November 11 JST). GSAT-15 sends positioning satellite augmentation signals, by which it is a part of the GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system operated by the Government of India.

▽Galileo FOC-7, 8
Two Galileo satellites (FOC-7 and 8) were launched on Soyuz rockets at the Guiana Space Centre at 08:51 local time on December 17 (20:51 JST). These are the ninth and tenth Galileo satellites, and the seventh and eighth for its FOC.
(The next four Galileo satellites will be launched simultaneously this year from an Ariane 5ES rocket customized to launch four satellites at once.)

Related information

Visit the following link for information about positioning satellites to be launched in 2016.

* Header image provided by: United Launch Alliance