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Three Russian Glonass satellites crash after failed launch


A Proton-M rocket at Baikonur. File photo.

MOSCOW (BNS): Three Russian satellites crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday after the rocket carrying them failed to reach orbit following their launch.

According to Russian defence ministry, the DM-3 booster with three Glonass-M satellites fell into the Pacific Ocean in 1500 kilometers northwest of Honolulu.

A Russian Proton-M SLV Sunday launched three GLONASS-M satellites from Baikonur in Kazakhstan to complete its global navigation satellite system for civilian and military use, which was in disarray after the Soviet collapse in 1991.

However, the Khrunichev Space Centre said the satellites had failed to enter the right orbit after the launch went wrong 10 minutes after take-off.

"According to preliminary data, the Proton rocket that took off from Baikonur at 1:25 pm (1025 GMT) took a wrong trajectory. Consequently the booster rocket could not put the satellites in the intended orbit and it fell back with them into the atmosphere," said the space agency.

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 a total of 26 GLONASS series spacecraft in orbit, but three of them are not operational.

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