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2 Russian Glonass Navigation Satellites to Undergo Maintenance

RIA Novosti

16:05 20/05/2014

MOSCOW, May 20 (RIA Novosti) – Two Russian Glonass navigation satellites will be temporarily deactivated for a day to undergo maintenance, the Glonass System Control Center said Tuesday.

The center said in a statement that the two satellites, numbers 735 and 731, will be deactivated on Wednesday morning for planned maintenance work and reactivated Thursday.

Maintenance on two other satellites in the Russia's constellation, numbers 733 and 738, was successfully completed Tuesday morning and the satellites were returned to fully operational status.

A total of 24 of the spacecraft are currently operational in Earth orbit, enough to provide global coverage. In total, the group consists of 29 satellites. Four spacecraft are kept in reserve as backups, and one is undergoing flight tests.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said last Tuesday Russia intends to suspend the work of 11 ground-based facilities of the US Global Positioning System (GPS) on Russian territory starting June 1 and shut them down beginning September 1.

The move came as a response to a US refusal to set up a signal correction station for Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System Glonass on US territory.

The Glonass network, which began operation in 1993, provides real-time positioning and speed data for surface, sea and airborne objects. Its accuracy is expected to be boosted to one meter (3 feet) when used within Russia by the end of the year. The first overseas ground station was launched in Brazil in February 2013.

Russia's full-scale plan for Glonass is to build 50 stations in several dozen countries across the globe. Last week, the Russian government approved bills to ratify space cooperation agreements with Nicaragua and Vietnam, which provide for the construction of Glonass stations.

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