Orbital group of Russian satellite navigation system supplemented with the 30th unit — into space with the launch vehicle "Soyuz 2.1b" launched satellite "Glonass-M". Running is made from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, which dispose troops aerospace defense
"At 9:26 rocket" Soyuz 2.1b "has been taken to support ground-based testing of the Main Space Center after Titov," — said the representative of the Russian Defense Ministry official on East Col. Alexei Zolotukhin.
According to the Russian Federal Space Agency, until today the GLONASS satellite constellation consisted of 29 units located in three orbital planes. For the intended purpose now used 23 satellites on maintenance — 2, in the orbital reserve — 3, and another unit is undergoing flight tests.
In comparison, the U.S. GPS constellation now includes 31 machine, one of which is down for maintenance, and 30 are used for their intended purpose.
For around the clock coverage of satellite navigation signals of the entire surface of the planet requires that the three orbital planes of 24 satellites constantly working. This may require multiple backup devices that are derived from the "sleep" when one of the primary satellite fails.
Designing domestic satellite navigation system began in 1976, but only by the end of 2008 orbital group was increased to 18 satellites, allowing real use GLONASS. Now in orbit undergoing flight tests a promising vehicle "Glonass-K", the transition to the satellites of this type should bring the system up to the level of accuracy of GPS.
Accordingly, the arrangement now is this: