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Russia to Launch 2 Glonass Satellites in 2012

RIA Novosti

19:09 22/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will launch two Glonass satellites in 2012 to expand its global satellite navigation network in orbit, the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday.

Glonass is Russia’s answer to the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian uses.

“We are planning to carry out two Glonass satellites this year,” Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin said in an interview with Vesti 24 television.

A group of 31 Glonass satellites is currently in orbit, with 24 operating to provide global coverage, four in reserve and one undergoing trials.

Russia may spend 346.5 billion rubles (almost $12 bln) on the maintenance and further development of the Glonass network in 2012-2020.

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