03.10.2011

The Soyuz-2.1B carrier rocket with the Glonass-M navigation satellite was launched on early Monday from the Plesetsk Space Center in northern Russia

The Soyuz-2.1B carrier rocket with the Glonass-M navigation satellite was launched on early Monday from the Plesetsk Space Center in northern Russia, Space Forces spokesman Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin said.

He said the spacecraft was launched as scheduled at 0:15 on Monday Moscow time (20:15 Sunday GMT).

The launch was initially scheduled for Saturday, but it was postponed since the wind force exceeded the characteristics, allowed at the altitude of 7-10 kilometers.

Glonass is Russia's answer to the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian uses. Both systems allow users to determine their positions to within a few meters.

The Russian aerospace industry has faced a series of misfortunes over the last nine months, including the loss of three Glonass satellites, a prized Express-AM4 satellite and the fall of the Progress M-12M cargo in south Siberia's Altai Republic.

The loss of Glonass satellites alone cost the state 4.3 billion rubles ($152.2 million).

Source:  http://en.rian.ru/science/20111003/167326670.html

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