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Russia to launch three Glonass satellites by June

Russia: Russia will launch another three Glonass-M satellites on board a Proton heavy carrier rocket later this year to complete the orbiting Glonass grouping, Anatoly Perminov – head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said.

Anatoly Perminov said that Roscosmos allocated about 3 billion rubles (USD 100 million) for the launch, expected in May-June.

The recent loss of three Glonass-M satellites as a result of a series of mistakes made by the Russian Energia rocket corporation cost Russia 2.5 billion rubles (USD 82 million) in direct damages.

Russia has switched on two reserve Glonass-M satellites in orbit to compensate for the ones that were lost. Roscosmos will also launch a Glonass-K satellite in February-March to bring the current number of operational satellites in orbit to 23.

The complete grouping must have 24 operational and 2-3 reserve satellites for Glonass network to operate with global coverage.

Source: RIA NOVOSTI