India To Use Russian GLONASS Navigation System - Minister

Nov 18, 2005

Russia and India are planning to cooperate in the sphere of satellite navigation, Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced at a Moscow press conference Wednesday, RIA-Novosti reports.

The minister said this was a momentous decision for India, but that the specifics of cooperation in the area had yet to be discussed.

Russia's satellite navigation system, called GLONASS, is operated for the Russian government by the Russian Space Forces.

Like the GPS system developed and launched by the U.S. military forces, the GLONASS constellation consists of 24 satellites, 21 in operation, and three backups on station.

According to the Russian news website MosNews.com, GLONASS orbits the Earth at an altitude of 19,100 km (slightly lower than that of the GPS satellites). Each satellite completes an orbit in approximately 11 hours, 15 minutes. The spacing of the satellites in orbit is arranged so that a minimum of five satellites are in view at any given time.

All the satellites were launched from Tyuratam in Kazakhstan. The first three test satellites were placed in orbit in October 1982 with the first operational satellites entering service in December 1983. The system was intended to be operational in 1991, but the constellation was not completed until December 1995.

Due to the economic situation in Russia there were only eight satellites in operation in April 2002 rendering it almost useless as a navigation aid.

According to MosNews, eleven satellites were in operation by March 2004, after the economic situation in Russia had improved. Additionally, an advanced GLONASS satellite, the GLONASS-M, with an operational lifetime of seven years, has been developed. A 3-satellite block of this new version was launched on Dec. 26, 2004.

A further improved GLONASS-K satellite, with a reduced weight and an increased operational lifetime of 10-12 years, is due to enter service in 2008. Following a joint venture deal with the Indian government, which will launch two GLONASS-M satellites on its PSLV rockets, it is proposed to have the system fully operational again by 2008 with 18 satellites and by 2010 with all 24 satellites.

Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International

Explore further: Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fires in the Northern Territories July 2014

25 minutes ago

Environment Canada has issued a high health risk warning for Yellowknife and surrounding area because of heavy smoke in the region due to forest fires. In the image taken by the Aqua satellite, the smoke ...

The birth of topological spintronics

41 minutes ago

The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic will be described in the journal Nature on July 24, 2014. The research, led by Penn S ...

Recommended for you

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

3 hours ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

3 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

20 hours ago

For the first time, Spanish researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water and is left to dry, b ...

How do we terraform Venus?

20 hours ago

It might be possible to terraform Venus some day, when our technology gets good enough. The challenges for Venus are totally different than for Mars. How will we need to fix Venus?

Biomarkers of the deep

22 hours ago

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Spain is a unique geological site that has fascinated astrobiologists for decades. The Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) in Spain's Río Tinto area is the largest known deposit ...

Image: Chandra's view of the Tycho Supernova remnant

23 hours ago

More than four centuries after Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe first observed the supernova that bears his name, the supernova remnant it created is now a bright source of X-rays. The supersonic expansion of ...

User comments : 0