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Archive for Sunday, October 19, 2008

Navigation system tested on Putin’s dog

October 19, 2008

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— Russia was the first to put a dog in space. Now, 50 years later, it has brought space to a dog, and not just any dog but Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's beloved black Labrador.

A collar containing satellite-guided positioning equipment was slipped Friday around the neck of Putin's dog, Koni, who good-naturedly gave it a test run.

The technology is not new, and has been available around the world for many years through the U.S. Global Positioning System. But Russia wants its own system and has doggedly pushed ahead with a Soviet-era satellite navigation program, still determined not to be left behind in the space race.

One of Putin's deputies, Sergei Ivanov, briefed him Friday on the progress of the Global Navigation Satellite System. Then footage broadcast on Russian TV showed them putting the collar on Koni.

Ivanov said that the equipment goes on standby mode when "the dog doesn't move, if it, say, lies down in a puddle."

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