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Russia orbits three GLONASS satellites


A file photo.

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia has successfully orbited three GLONASS navigation satellites last week.

A Proton-M rocket carrying the payloads was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on November 4 after a 24-hour delay, the federal space agency Roscosmos said. The delay was caused by a technical glitch.

Friday's mission was the first Proton-M rocket launch with GLONASS satellites after the December 2010 mishap in which the carrier rocket carrying three such satellites had failed to reach orbit and crashed in the Pacific Ocean.

GLONASS is the Russian equivalent of the US Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian use.

Russia currently has 27 GLONASS series spacecraft in orbit of which four are not operational.

At least 18 satellites are essential to provide continuous navigational signal for the entire territory of Russia and 24 are needed for global coverage.

The federal space agency expects to operationalise 24 GLONASS satellites by the end of 2011.

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Russia  GLONASS  

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