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Jan 18, 2006

Report: GLONASS Could Be Operating By 2009

GLONASS, the Russian global navigation satellite system could be ready by 2009, ahead of the originally planned date of 2012, the Russian News and Information Agency reported today. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, made the report to President Vladimir Putin after conferring with officials of the Russian Space Agency and the Federal Agency for Industry.

Back in December, President Putin said that he wanted the timeline for Russia's program speeded up. He made the statement as the European Space Agency was preparing to launch the first of its navigation satellites. The defense minister said that by accelerating the program, GLONASS could be put into operation in Russia by 2007, with limited global use following in 2009. The cost would be $53 million this year.