Moscow, Russia, 5 December 2006 – Russia is negotiating with other countries on the possible joint use of Russia’s global positioning satellite system Glonass, the head of the Russian Space Agency told reporters. “We are in active talks with India, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and other countries on the joint use of the Glonass space system,” Anatoly Perminov said.
“As far as other countries are concerned, we are primarily in talks with the United States and the European Space Agency to prepare agreements on the use of Glonass jointly with GPS and Galileo [satellite navigation systems],” Perimov said.
He said Glonass has been in an intensified stage of development since the Russian President urged for active work on the system.
“The country’s leadership is paying particular attention to the development of the system,” Perminov said. “The Russian President personally set the task of not only actively developing it [the system], but also putting it into operation as soon as possible.”
Last December President Vladimir Putin told the government that he wanted Glonass ready by 2008, as had been originally planned. “We hope that by late 2007 or early 2008 we will have 18 satellites in orbit and by the end of 2009 a full orbital group of 24 satellites,” Perminov said.
In November Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Russia will lift all precision restrictions, from the start of 2007, in the use of Glonass to enable accurate and unlimited commercial use of the military-controlled global positioning system. Current restrictions limit the accuracy for civilian users of Glonass to 30 meters.
Meanwhile, the Federal Space Centre “Baikonur” has reported that three satellites of the global navigation system GLONASS will be launched from Baikonur on 26 December. On December 4 night a spacecraft “Glonass-M” was delivered to “Yubileniy” airfield. The cosmodrome specialists delivered containers with the spacecraft and supplementary equipment, and then the satellite was transported to an assembly and test centre.
“The third spacecraft was delivered to Baikonur in due time as the previous two. The cosmodrome specialists prepare the satellites for the launch. All works are taking place in accordance with the schedule,” – the Federal Space Agency “Roskosmos” said. The launch of the carrier rocket “Proton-K” with three navigation spacecrafts of the global navigation system GLONASS would be done from the Launch Complex 200 of the Baikonur cosmodrome.