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Russia May Launch Up to Three Glonass Satellites in 2016

© Sputnik / Alexandr Kryazhev / Go to the mediabankA model of the GLONASS-K satellite
A model of the GLONASS-K satellite - Sputnik International
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Russia may launch two or three Glonass navigation satellites this year, a senior space industry official said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The official noted that the launches of the satellites would depend on the state of the Glonass system.

"We are planning to launch one Glonass-M satellite in the next three months to the second orbital plane. We are also planning another Glonass-M launch for this year to the second orbital plane. Another launch to the second or third plane is possible in the end of the year," Nikolai Testoyedov, the head of the Information Satellite Systems (ISS) company, which manufactures satellites for the Glonass project, told the Izvestiya newspaper in an interview published Tuesday.

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Glonass, a global navigation system operated by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces, currently consists of 24 satellites, 23 of which are operational, according to the newspaper. The system allows real-time positioning and speed data for surface, sea and airborne objects around the world. The need to launch new satellites emerged this year when two of them broke down around the same time.

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