Glonass-M satellite launch postponed until Sunday

The launch of the Soyuz-2.1B carrier rocket with the Glonass-M navigation satellite was postponed until Sunday because of the approaching cyclone, Russia’s Space Forces spokesman Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin said on Saturday.

The launch from the Plesetsk Space Center in northern Russia was scheduled for Saturday, but it has been postponed since the wind force exceeds the characteristics, allowed at the altitude of 7-10 kilometers, Zolotukhin said.

The Space Forces commander, Gen. Oleg Ostapenko dismissed any technical mishaps of the Soyuz carrier rocket.

“All the technical checks were held without flaws,” Ostapenko added.

Glonass is Russia’s answer to the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian uses. Both systems allow users to determine their positions to within a few meters.

The Russian aerospace industry has faced a series of misfortunes over the last nine months, including the loss of three Glonass satellites, a prized Express-AM4 satellite and the fall of the Progress M-12M cargo in south Siberia’s Altai Republic.

The loss of Glonass satellites alone cost the state 4.3 billion rubles ($152.2 million).

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