Russian Defense Ministry Postpones Glonass-K Launch
[Satellite TODAY 12-22-10] The Russian Defense Ministry has postponed the launch of the Glonass-K satellite until 2011, Russian officials announced Dec. 21.
The satellite was scheduled to launch on a Soyuz carrier rocket from the Plesetsk Space Center Dec. 28. The Russian Defense Ministry said the delay was caused by the fact that preparations for Glonass-K’s navigational ground complex had not been completed.
The delay follows a failed Proton-M mission Dec. 5, which left three Glonass-M satellites in the Pacific Ocean. Russian officials attributed the loss to “a series of manufacturing mistakes,” according to a statement released Dec. 18.
Glonass is Russia’s version of the U.S. GPS constellation and is designed for both military and civilian uses. Russia has a total of 26 Glonass satellites in orbit, but only 20 are functional.