Three GLONASS navigation satellites have been successfully placed in orbit aboard a three–stage Proton M launch vehicle.

The navigation satellites are part of the Russian Federation Global Navigation System Program, which complements and provides an alternative to the US Global Positioning system.

According to the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, three more GLOSNASS satellites are scheduled for launch in 2010.

The launch was the ninth Proton mission this year.