Proton Successfully Launches Back-to-Back Missions
From Khrunichev Press Release
BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, Sept 25, 2008 — Less than one week after orbiting the Nimiq 4 satellite for Telesat, a Khrunichev-built Proton M vehicle successfully launched three GLONASS satellites. Lift-off took place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 12:49 Moscow Time (MT) today (Sept. 25), followed by nominal separation from the Block DM upper stage at approximately 16:22 (MT).
This is the seventh Proton mission this year (four commercial launches with partner International Launch Services, and three in support of the Russian Federation and Ministry of Defense). In 2008 so far, Proton has had more launches than any other of its heavy-lift counterparts worldwide.
GLONASS is a dual–purpose global navigation system designed to serve the Russian Ministry of Defense and civil users. The system is intended to provide continuous navigation coverage allowing an unlimited number of domestic and foreign users at sea, in the air and on land to determine precise coordinates, velocity and time.