Russia launches last Glonass-M satellite of 2011

A Russian Soyuz carrier rocket with a Glonass-M navigation satellite on board was launched from the Plesetsk space center on Monday, Russian Space Forces spokesman Alexei Zolotukhin said.

The launch of the Glonass, which will augment a group of 27 similar satellites already in orbit, took place on schedule at 12:25 Moscow time (08:25 GMT), Zolotukhin said.

This is the fifth and the last launch of a Glonass satellite this year.

On November 4, three reserve Glonass-M satellites were launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan after three Glonass-Ms were destroyed in a failed launch last year.

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.

A Glonass satellite launched on October 3 completed the grouping of 24 functioning satellites needed to provide global coverage.


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