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Russia completes deployment of global positioning satellites

(Xinhua)

10:28, October 08, 2011

MOSCOW, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Russia has completed the deployment of its global positioning satellite group "Glonass", head of the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos Vladimir Popovkin said on Friday.

Glonass, the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), is designed for both military and civilian use. The system requires 24 operational and 2-3 reserve satellites in orbit to ensure global coverage.

"Today Russia's Glonass group is really global and ready at any moment to show (the user's) whereabouts....We completed the formation of the orbiting cluster with the launch of a Glonass-M satellite in early October." Popovkin told a meeting in the Russian State Duma, or the lower house of parliament,

"Now we will develop the system's land-based infrastructure, which will increase the Glonass precision to one meter from current five to six meters by 2015," he added.

Currently, there are 28 Glonass satellites in orbit -- 23 of them are operating, two are being put into service, and three are out for maintenance.

According to Popovkin, in the next few years, one of the priorities of the Roscosmos is to develop weather and communication satellites as well as the Earth's remote sounding.

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