Thursday, December 27, 2007


New GPS system to rival America's

The rocket that lifted off from Baikonur's cosmodrome on Christmas Day was carrying the final three satellites for Russians military-run GLONASS mapping system that is the rival to America's GPS. Glonass covers most of Russia at the moment and by the end of next year will cover the globe.
Work on Glonass (Global Naviation Satellite System) began in the USSR around the 1970's to maintain direction and navigational services for the Soviet forces. When the economy collapsed in the 1990s the system was shelved and dusted off when current President Vladimir Putin began military spending.
Glonass will be used alongside the US GPS system which can be withheld from civilians at the will of Washington, as was seen in Iraq.
The Russian system will offer alternative satellite navigation systems for those countries that fall outside Washington's ambit of friendship.
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