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Russia launches navigation satellites
Posted: Thu, Dec 11, 2003, 10:13 AM ET (1513 GMT)
Proton launch (file photo) A Proton rocket successfully launched three navigation satellites on Wednesday. The Proton K lifted off from Baikonur at 12:42 pm EST (1742 GMT) and deployed its payload of three satellites into their final orbits nearly six hours later using the Briz-KM upper stage. The spacecraft, designated Kosmos 2402, 2403, and 2404, will partially replenish the Russian Glonass navigation constellation. Glonass is similar to the American GPS system, but in recent years a lack of new satellites to replace ones that failed in orbit diminished its usefulness. One of the three satellites is an upgraded Uragan-M satellite, with a seven-year lifetime, versus three years for the other two standard Uragan satellites.
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