MOSCOW: Russia has placed successfully in orbit a GLONASS satellite for global navigation purposes.
According to federal space agency Roscosmos the GLONASS-M spacecraft was launched by a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia.
The new satellite will join a constellation of 30 GLONASS spacecraft already in orbit of which 23 are operational.
The GLONASS is the Russian equivalent of the US Global Positioning System (GPS), and is designed for both military and civilian use. At least 18 satellites are essential to provide continuous navigational signal for the entire territory of Russia and 24 are needed for global coverage.