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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 11:05:38 PM , Rating: 0
Americans don't like Chirac because he stood up to George Bush and did everything he could to stop a war that he knew was based on false allegations.

The second reason he's unpopular is because of his stance on religion. He banned signs of religion. People discriminate on the basis of religion, so he thought to ban the symbols such as crosses.

His stance over the war cost him in terms of his relationship with the US. Is this the price that France has to pay for being a strong state? Must we say that good presidents are ones that simply follow whatever an American president tells them to do despite that information being presented is based on a lie?

The French economy was and is still very strong. The physical size of France is about 1/15 that of the US, its population 1/5, and it's listed 6th for GDP. Bush II's policies have long term impact for Americans. The French, meanwhile, seem to be doing quite well, with the worst of it coming directly from Chirac's stand against the US president.

Europe, in particular the EU, is still a power to contend with. The technology in Europe is comparable with the US, even if the production numbers aren't quite there yet. With the growing strength of the EU and the flailing American economy, I wouldn't be surprised to see this reversed.

Chirac didn't hate Bush. He just refused to be taken in by him. Sure, there were consequences that the French had to pay, but often this is the price to be paid for doing what's right. Chirac was a great president. He gave me and many other Quebecers a sense of pride in their French roots.

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.

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