The center responsible for controlling the satellites of the Russian Glonass system announced that the system had begun to abandon its old satellites. A statement issued by the center said, “On July 20, Glonassa-M, which bears the number 716 and belongs to the satellites of the Glonass system, was discontinued, and it was decided to take it out of service in system”.
According to the “RT” website, the statement added, “The mentioned satellite was launched into Earth orbits in 2006, after which it underwent some space tests, and entered service in the GLONASS system on October 12, 2007.”
Informed sources in the Russian space industry have indicated that Russia intends to modernize the Glonass system and replace its old satellites with newer Glonass-K-class satellites that have a longer lifespan and more accurate positioning.
Today, the system has 28 satellites, 23 of which are currently working to provide navigational services to the inhabitants of the globe, two satellites are still in the flight testing phase, two are currently undergoing maintenance in space, and another is in Earth’s orbits as a backup satellite.