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The Russian government will approve adjustments to the federal GLONASS programme shortly
The Russian government will approve adjustments to the federal GLONASS programme shortly. A government official told Itar-Tass on Wednesday that “radical adjustments” were made “both in terms of time for the development of the orbiting segment and content.” In a meeting with members of the government earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin said rocket and space industry development programmes, including GLONASS programme, should be based not only on the quality of space assets but also on their number. “Quality and the duration of use is a most important parameter, but the number [of satellites] is extremely important to us. We must ensure this number through the quality and time of use, ensure the necessary number at certain set time intervals so that we can create adequate programmes,” Putin said. He stressed the importance of quantity while replying to Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov’s remark, “Not the quantity, but just the quality so that spacecraft are more effectively used in the interests of the economy and national defence.” Ivanov said that the “most effective way is the creation of double-purpose satellites; this will allow us to increase in a significant degree the communications and telecasting segment, retain the common information space”. “Effective control of troops, especially in a tactical segment, is impossible without communications,” Ivanov said. According to the minister, the programme calls for the development of Russian spaceports and the GLONASS navigation system. “All the necessary authorisations for the accelerated commissioning of the system have been obtained and the programme has been submitted to the government,” he said. To illustrate his thought that it is necessary not only to improve quality but also maintain the sufficient number of satellites, Putin cited GLONASS. “This system will become operational only if a certain number of satellites are put into orbit,” he said. “Twenty-four, to be precise,” Ivanov added. GLONASS is designed to provide navigation information and accurate time signals to both military and civilian users. According to the federal programme, the system will be increased to 24 satellites by 2010. But at the end of December 2005, Putin urged the government to accelerate the launch of new satellites and the adaptation of GLONASS to commercial uses. “For the government to note, the GLONASS system should be created faster than it was initially planned,” the president said.
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