Russia: Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket put three Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) satellites into orbit. The Proton-M rocket blasted off from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan. Only two out of the three satellites will be put into operation. The third will be kept in reserve. By mid-October, a total of 23 satellites will be operational.
“The launch and flight of the carrier rocket, as well as the separation of the satellites, took place on schedule,” said Lt. Col. Alexei Zolotukhin, spokesman for Russian Space Forces. He also said the satellites’ onboard systems were working well.
Russia currently has a total of 26 GLONASS satellites in orbit, but two of them are not functional. The system requires 18 operational satellites for continuous navigation services covering the entire territory of Russia and at least 24 satellites to provide navigation services worldwide.
Russian Space Forces are planning to launch two more Proton-M carrier rockets this year to put six more satellites into orbit, allowing continuous worldwide navigation.
Source: RIA Novosti