GLONASS Satellites Successfully Launched
A Russian Proton rocket blasted off October 13th carrying a trio of military navigation satellites. Liftoff occurred at 10:12:45 a.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Global Navigation Satellite System, or GLONASS, is the Russian version of the U.S. military's Global Positioning System constellation. The system tells users their position on Earth whether they are on the ground, in the air or at sea. This craft will provide coverage to North and South America for satellite operator GE Americom of Princeton, N.J. The satellite is designed to relay direct-to-home television programming, media and entertainment distribution and Internet Protocol services. The October 13th launch marked the 282nd for the Russian Proton rocket extending back to 1965 and the 12th of 2000. Three more launches—two commercial (mid-November and December 4th) and one government—are firmly planned through the rest of the year.