Glonass satellite launch marks an end to an era

The launch on Wednesday of three Glonass satellites virtually marks an end to craft of this class being sent into orbit.

A heavy duty Proton rocket took three Glonass navigation satellites into orbit on Wednesday.

RIA Novosti learnt in the press service of the Mikhail Reshetnev Scientific-Production Association of Applied Mechanics that each satellite weighed 1, 425 kg. They were built in conjunction with the Polyot Production Association in Omsk.

The first Glonass-M satellite, which has a wide range of functions and a service life of seven years, will be launched into orbit in the second quarter of 2003.

The Glonass-M will be launched with 2 Glonass satellites, the last of their kind.

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