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Glonass to provide global coverage from next year: Putin news
24 December 2009

Moscow: The Russian developed Glonass navigation satellite system will provide global service from next year, according to Russian premier Vladimir Putin. He made this statement after a Proton rocket put three Glonass satellites in orbit on Monday.

With this launch, as many as 19 Glonass (Global Navigation Satellite System) satellites will have become operational by the end of this year.

The system is the Russian equivalent of the US Global Positioning System (GPS), and is designed for both military and civilian use.

Like the US GPS, the Russian Glonass allows users to identify their current location and direction.

Another three such triple launches are scheduled for next year, with one in February, one in August and one, probably in November.

''We will launch nine satellites, and we will have 24 operational satellites in orbit even if one or two satellites, which are under maintenance, have to be replaced,'' the federal space agency, Roskosmos, director Anatoly Perminov said. ''Our cluster will function like GPS. Twenty-seven out of 30 GPS satellites are working, including two under maintenance.''

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Glonass to provide global coverage from next year: Putin