At 2254 GMT on 23 March 2014, a Soyuz 2-1b/Fregat launch vehicle lifted off from the Plesetsk launch site in Northern Russia. Aboard was a Glonass-M navigatation satellite to be fitted into the Russian equivalent to the GPS constellation. In being officially military spacecraft, the Glonass spacecraft which are built by the Russian firm ISS Reshetnev, are given the COSMOS nomenclature once they reach orbit. In this case the spacecraft was named COSMOS 2491 (KOSMOS 2491).
Artist’s impression of Glonass-M spacecraft. Courtesy: ISS Reshetnev