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Russia launches GLONASS satellite


A Russian MoD photo.

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia on Monday successfully placed in orbit a GLONASS satellite for global navigation purposes.

The GLONASS-M spacecraft was launched by a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia, federal space agency Roscosmos said.

The spacecraft, after being separated from the rocket, was placed in its designated orbit.

The new satellite will join a constellation of 30 GLONASS spacecraft already in orbit of which 23 are operational.

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

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

Monday's launch was the last launch of GLONASS system for this year, Roscosmos said.

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