Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been pushing for a Russian satellite navigation system known unfortunately as GLONASS, and yesterday the system had its first launch: a tracking collar for the PM's dog, a black labrador named Koni. According to Putin, "She's wagging her tail, she likes it."
GLONASS has had difficulty getting up and running: it was supposed to be fully operational by the beginning of 2008, but delays and repairs have forced the 24-satellite system's worldwide availability back to the end of 2009. It will be working for Russian territory by the end of this year, however. The AP helpfully reminds us that while Russia's satellite navigation tool may be, um, really late to the game, they were the first to put a dog in space. Unhelpfully, the AP doesn't make even a single Yakov Smirnoff joke. Help them out, commenters! [AP]