Putin pushes sat-nav system

Vladimir Putin has urged his government to speed up development of Russia's planned satellite navigation system, as the European Union prepared to launch the first satellite in its own system.

    The Galileo test satellite on the launch pad at Baikonur

    The Russian system, known as Glonass, and the European Space Agency's Galileo system will compete with and complement the American Global Positioning System, originally designed to locate targets for guided missiles, but now also used in civilian applications.

     

    The Glonass network of 24 geostationary satellites is not scheduled to be in operation before 2008, but according to the Ria-Novosti news agency, President Putin told the cabinet: "We have to see what we can do in 2006 and 2007 to develop the commercial utilisation of this system."

     

    Russia has already launched 17 of the planned system satellites, including three placed into orbit on Sunday, but Putin said that some of these may be out of date by the time the navigation system is inaugurated unless the development is hurried along.

     

    Military control

     

    Russia also has a hand in the competing Galileo system. One of its rockets is scheduled to lift off from the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan on Wednesday carrying a British-built test satellite for the European network.

     

    While the American and Russian systems are under military control, Galileo will be strictly for civilian satellite navigation after its inauguration scheduled for 2010.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.