Russia Faces $500 Million in Losses from Failed Glonass Launch
[Satellite TODAY 12-07-10] Russia’s Glonass navigation system will remain incomplete after three of its satellites fell into the Pacific Ocean shortly after take-off Dec. 5 when a Proton-M rocket carrying the spacecraft failed to reach its planned orbit.
The Glonass constellation requires 24 satellites to operator at full capacity. The failed launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome intended to bring its numbers up to full strength.
Glonass spent nearly 20 years in development in conjunction with the Russian military. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued a statement that his office ordered state prosecutor Yury Chaika to investigate how money was spent on the project, which was slated to rival the U.S. GPS system. The cost of the crash is expected to run to at least $500 million, Russian officials said.