Glonass – three more Russian satellites into orbit

MOSCOW, December 14 (RIA Novosti) – The Proton carrier rocket with three Glonass navigation satellites will be launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on Monday, a spokesman for the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.

“The launch is scheduled for 13:38 Moscow time” he said.

Roscosmos head Anatoly Perminov pledged that six satellites for the Glonass satellite grouping would be launched by the end of 2009. However, Monday’s launch will be the last in 2009, with the launch of three other satellites delayed until February 2010.

Glonass – the Global Navigation Satellite System – is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian use. Both systems allow users to determine their positions to within a few meters.