The Russian government plans to begin testing its second Glonass-K navigation satellite in 2013, Russian Space Systems Co. (RSSC) Deputy Head Grigory Stupak announced April 17.
Russia currently has a total of 31 Glonass satellites in orbit, with 24 operating to provide global coverage, four in reserve, two under maintenance and one undergoing trials. Glonass is Russia’s version of the U.S. GPS system and is designed for both military and civilian uses. Russia is planning to spend $694 million on its Glonass system in 2012.
RSSC originally announced that the second Glonass-K satellite would be tested by the end of 2012. The first Glonass-K satellite was successfully tested in February 2011.
According to Stupak, two Glonass satellites are under maintenance, one is on standby and one recently launched satellite is being integrated into the grouping. The complete Glonass grouping needs 24 functioning and two to three reserve satellites to operate with global coverage.