Print 45 comment(s) - last by howtochooseaus.. on Nov 5 at 12:35 PM

Russia is working diligently to patch its GLOSNASS system, with launches from Kazakhstan. Very nice!

Russia's GLONASS system just got a boost with the launch of three new satellites aboard a Proton-K booster rocket, last Friday.  The satellites successfully reached low-earth orbit eight minutes after launch.

GLONASS, for the unfamiliar, is Russia's equivalent of the Global Positioning System  (GPS) commonly used in the U.S.  In English the words that make up the acronym roughly are translated to "Global Navigation Satellite System."

The European Union anticipates the success of a separate system, called the Galileo Network. However as reported by DailyTech, the system has yet to fully be implemented.

The technology developed during the Cold War went into operation in 1982, was completed in 1985, but fell into disrepair, following the collapse of Russia's communist regime.

Still the Russian government has been making legitimate attempts to restore the aging system, as reported on earlier this year at DailyTech.  The constellation initiated its first public broadcast of May this year.

The Indian government pledged support for the GLONASS system in 2004, but the country have yet to launch any satellites.

The U.S. and Russian governments have also been in talks about making the GPS and GLOSNASS networks interoperable and compatible.  The U.S. and European Union have struck a similar deal as well.

The satellite launch last week occurred, not in Russia, but in Kazakhstan, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.  Russia rents the facility and the right to launch from Kazakhstan, under a long term contract.

The launch was significant as it was the first Russian launch from the facility since September.  Kazakhstan had temporarily banned launches, following a failure in which the Russian launch of another Proton rocket ended in failure.  This failed launch sent the Proton booster, full of highly toxic heptyl fuel, plunging into the countryside by the industrial city of Zhezkazgan. 

The effects of this incident on the local populous have yet to be fully determined, but launches have resumed with extra precautions.  Russia has relied heavily on launches of GLOSNASS satellites from the Baikonur location, in its efforts to repair the network.

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RE: Interesting
By wordsworm on 11/4/2007 10:24:12 AM , Rating: -1
It exists in order to feed and reinforce anti-American sentiment and/or competition in Europe.
The only thing needed to fuel anti-Americanism is George Bush II. But seriously, Chirac was a great president. Nicolas Sarkozy, on the other hand, seems to fit quite nicely along with the rest of the American owned presidents and prime ministers: Sir Robert Walpole (UK), Stephen Harper (Canada), Masharraf (Pakistan), to name but a few. Anti-American sentiment is a byproduct of American policy, nothing more.

But seriously, are you saying that you don't think Europe should be able to compete with American technology? You think the US military ought to protect its monopoly?

RE: Interesting
By ebakke on 11/4/2007 11:42:54 AM , Rating: 3
But seriously, Chirac was a great president.

Oh no...

RE: Interesting
By Ringold on 11/4/2007 12:54:52 PM , Rating: 3
Chirac.. a great.. president?

He oversaw the devastation of the French economy and the complete erosion of French legitimacy as a global power and who was notable only for being an ass, along with de Gaulle, throughout the Cold War?

Theres a reason why the French stock market rallied upon his election; international investors understood what you clearly may not. Sarkozy will be the best thing for France since the invention of cheese, if he is allowed to pass his reforms. He's also made France more visible on the world stage than in recent memory and is forcefully reasserting Frances role inside the EU. What's not to like? Just that he doesn't hold irrational hatred for Bush?

I wish he wouldn't attack central bank independence, but one must take the good with the bad.

It's also not an issue of competing with American technology. It's a matter of cost effectiveness. The EU will spend huge sums of money for Galileo and receive virtually no marginal benefit as compared to the present scheme. That is, no real measurable benefit, but clearly some will have an emotional benefit. Russia at least is a legitimate global military power and can therefore justify it on those grounds.

But of course, go right ahead and spend the money. Your tax dollars, not mine.

RE: Interesting
By wordsworm on 11/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Interesting
By Ringold on 11/5/2007 12:10:04 AM , Rating: 3
The French economy was and is still very strong.

France's unemployment over recent decades, up to this day, long term rate of growth, and forward-looking economic indicators, including longer term ones like the chronic lack of innovative small business leaders and venture capitalists, all point to more of the same economic stagnation of the last several decades. The unemployment you guys have in the suburbs, where all those disaffected minorities are, is really rather atrocious, and downright dangerous among the younger demographics.

Unless, of course, Sarkozy has his "rupture" and manages to drag people like you, who clearly have their head in the sand with statements like "France is about 1/15th that of the US, its population 1/5, and its listed 6th for GDP" in to a more free market future.

That statement, by the way, might be interesting to a cartographer, but is meaningless to an economist.

As for the relative strength of the US economy, it would be the first time in history if we had a recession during this business cycle after the two extremely strong quarters we've just had. This might be the weakest "trough" by some measures we've ever had; we're still at theoretical full emplyoment! Meanwhile, the consensus I'm hearing from people with more time than I that look at the EU is that it's had its peak and is now on its way to its own trough in the business cycle, suggesting EU weakness as America "recovers". The idea of a "flailing American economy" may make Europeans, and Democrats, feel good, but it isn't at all borne out by any facts on the ground here.

I'll stick to what I know and leave the rest of it alone, except to say perhaps living in Quebec, which benefits from its proximity to America, you may not really know what it's like where those in their 20s in the suburbs face unemployment ranging from 20 to 40%. I don't have Canada's stats in front of me, much less Quebecs, but at least in America we haven't seen that since the Great Depression.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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