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Russia to launch three GLONASS satellites on Oct 29


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MOSCOW (BNS): Russia will put in orbit three Glonass navigation satellites on October 29 from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, following their launch cancellation in September, a media report said.

The planned September 25 launch of Glonass satellites was delayed for over a month due to some technical flaws in one of the satellites.

"This launch is in our plans. The expected date is October 29, RIA Novosti quoted a Roscosmos official as saying.

Roscosmos's head, Anatoly Perminov said all the six satellites required to complete the Glonass satellite grouping would be launched by the end of 2009.

Glonass - the Global Navigation Satellite System - is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian uses. The system allows users to determine their positions to within a few meters.

The system requires 18 satellites for continuous navigation services covering the entire territory of the Russian Federation are currently in orbit, and the six due to go up in two launches this year would bring numbers up to the 24 needed to provide services worldwide.

The launch of another three Glonass satellites has been scheduled for December 4 also from the Baikonur space center, it said.

The Russian government had sanctioned $170 million and $360 million from the federal budget in 2006 and 2007 respectively for installing the system. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had signed an order on September 12, 2008, allocating an additional $2.6 billion to develop the system, the report said.

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