A Russian Proton-M carrier rocket launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan will deliver three Glonass-M satellites into orbit on Sunday to complete the formation of Russia's global navigation system, a spokesman for the Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Sunday.
"The launch proceeded in the normal regime, at the designated time of 13:25 p.m. Moscow time. Three Glonass-M space vehicles will be delivered into orbit at 16:27 p.m. Moscow time to complete the formation of the Russian satellite grouping Glonass," the spokesman said.
Glonass is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian use. Both systems allow users to determine their positions to within a few meters.
Russia currently has a total of 26 Glonass satellites in orbit, but three of them are not operational. The three Glonass-M satellites to be put into orbit on Sunday will allow Russia to operate a complete Glonass network of 24 operational satellites and have several satellites in reserve.
The three satellites are planned to be put into operation in about 6 weeks.
MOSCOW, December 5 (RIA Novosti)