Rabu, 26 Desember 2007

Russia launches 3 navigation satellites (AP)

MOSCOW - Russia has launched three satellites to extend its version of the U.S. Global Positioning System to the entire Russian territory.

The satellites were sent into orbit on a Proton-M rocket that blasted off Tuesday from Kazakhstan, said Alexander Vorobyov, spokesman for Russia's Federal Space Agency. They are to join Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System, or GLONASS.

The system, which serves both military and civilian purposes, was developed during Soviet times and was supposed to have 24 satellites. Their number dwindled after the 1991 Soviet collapse, but the Russian government is trying to revive it by earmarking funds from windfall oil revenues.

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Tuesday's launch would bring the GLONASS satellite fleet to 18 -- the number necessary to provide navigation services over the entire Russian territory. He said the system would be available worldwide by 2010, for which it would need 24 satellites.

Europeans are also developing their own satellite navigation system, Galileo.

eXTReMe Tracker