Glonass-M satellite prepared for Monday’s launch

Staff of the Plesetsk space center in Russia’s northwest have prepared a Soyuz carrier rocket with a Glonass-M navigation satellite for Monday’s launch.

“On Friday the Soyuz 2.1B carrier rocket with the Glonass-M spacecraft was taken to the launch pad. The blastoff will take place as scheduled, on November 28,” space forces spokesman Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said.

Monday’s launch will be second this month and the final for the Glonass project this year.

On November 4, Russia launched a Proton-M rocket carrying three Glonass navigation satellites from the Baikonur space center after the failed launch last year which destroyed three Glonass-Ms.

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.

Russia currently has a total of 27 Glonass satellites in orbit, although only 23 of them are operational.

The complete Glonass grouping needs 24 functioning and 2-3 reserve satellites to operate with global coverage.

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