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Satellites Fell Short of Target in 2010

of Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Monday that out of 11 military satellites that the government had ordered last year, only five were delivered.

He added that the agency fell short of its civilian satellite plan by six launches, Interfax reported.

Ivanov, speaking at a meeting of the Federal Space Agency, didn't blame anyone in specific for the shortcomings.

The space agency's chief, Anatoly Perminov, criticized the quality of manufacturing at the country's aerospace companies. It is "obvious" that poor quality control was the reason for the failed launch of Glonass navigation satellites at the end of last year, he said.

A special commission concluded that engineers &mdash guided by erroneous design documents — pumped an excessive amount of fuel into the booster's tanks. Three Glonass satellites launched in December veered off course and crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, costing Moscow about $160 million and setting the program back an estimated six months, Reuters reported.

The space agency is planning to launch four more Glonass satellites by the fall, which will ensure the navigation system's full coverage of the globe, said Vitaly Davydov, the space agency's deputy chief.

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