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Proton launches three navigation satellites
Posted: Sun, Dec 2, 2001, 11:15 PM ET (0415 GMT)
Proton launch (file photo) A Proton booster launched three Russian navigation satellites on Saturday. The Proton lifted off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan at 1:04 pm EST (1804 GMT) and placed into orbit three Uragan satellites. The three satellites — two standard Uragan models and one advanced Uragan-M version — will be used as part of the GLONASS network, a navigation system similar to the United States's Global Positioning System (GPS). Only six Uragan satellites were operating prior to Saturday's launch, even though the GLONASS network was designed to use as many as 24 spacecraft. The Uragan-M spacecraft is designed last twice as long in orbit as conventional Uragan spacecraft, in an effort to keep as many GLONASS spacecraft operating as possible.
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