Russia launches latest satellite in its global positioning system

April 26, 2013 at 3:39 PM
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MOSCOW, April 26 (UPI) -- Russia has launched another satellite to join the orbiting fleet making up its GLONASS satellite GPS system, its Defense Ministry reported Friday.

The GLONASS-M satellite was launched by a Soyuz 2-1b rocket from the northern Plesetsk Cosmodrome, said Col. Alexei Zolotukhin, Space Forces spokesman.

After it attains its designated orbit, the satellite will complete several weeks of commissioning and testing before entering service as part of the GLONASS system, RIA Novosti reported.

GLONASS, similar to the U.S. Global Positioning System, is designed for both military and civilian use.

The new satellite will join 23 operational satellites; there are also two undergoing in-orbit maintenance and three orbiting spares that can be activated as needed, the Defense Ministry said.

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