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MOSCOW, April 17 (Itar-Tass) — A second advanced navigation satellite Glonass-K will begin to be tested in 2013, Deputy Director-General of the Russian Space Systems company, Grigory Stupak, said at the 4th International Satellite Navigation Forum on Tuesday. The Forum will last till April 18.
“An advanced spacecraft of a new generation, Glonass-K, is undergoing flight tests," Stupak said. “We plan to start testing a second Glonass-K in 2013. That satellite will be able to transmit four navigation signals.”
Speaking about the prospects of the navigation satellite system (GLONASS), Stupak said the system comprised 31 satellites. Twenty four satellites are in service, two are undergoing maintenance, four stay in reserve and one is being flight-tested.
GLONASS’ civil segment is designed to provide global navigation coverage. Any vehicles equipped with the system's receivers will be able to use it to identify their whereabouts with high accuracy. Also, it is used for national security purposes.
Originally the GLONAS system was put into service in 1993 at the request of the Defense Ministry. It had 12 satellites. In December 1995 the group was built up to the expected strength of 24 satellites. Under-financing caused it to shrink later somewhat.
On February 18, 1999 the Russian president’s decree defined it as a dual-purpose system.
On December, 2005 President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian space company Roskosmos and the Defense Ministry to speed up the restoration of the GLONASS orbital group to its original parameters.