Roskosmos announced the launch of the first apparatus of the Sphere group into orbit

MOSCOW, 23 Oct – PRIME. The first apparatus of the multi-satellite constellation “Sphere” – “Skif-D”, and three communications satellites “Gonets-M”, launched on a Soyuz-2.1b rocket from the Vostochny cosmodrome, entered the specified orbits, the press service told reporters State Corporation Roskosmos.

“There is a department of all devices,” said a representative of the state corporation.

The Fregat rocket with satellites was launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome at 22.57 Moscow time on October 22 (04.57 on October 23 local time). A few minutes later, the upper stage with satellites was launched into a reference orbit. After that, “Fregat”, in order to deliver the devices to the calculated orbits, performed five engine starts. The “Messengers” separated one hour and 38 minutes after the launch, the launch of the “Skif-D” took 4 hours and 8 minutes.

“Skif-D” will become a technology demonstrator for the future “Skif” broadband Internet access system, which will become part of the “Sphere”. In the future, it is planned to launch a demonstrator of the Marathon Internet of Things constellation, and at the end of 2025, the first satellite of the Express-RV highly elliptical communication system, which will also enter the Sphere, will fly into orbit.

According to the government-approved Spheres project, a total of 162 satellites will be launched into orbit, although more than 500 satellites were originally planned. In addition to “Scythians”, “Expresses” and “Marathons”, the group will include communication satellites “Yamal”, remote sensing devices “Smotr” and observation satellites “Berkut”. In total, as Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, said after the launch, the project provides for the launch of more than 600 vehicles.

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As RIA Novosti was told in the press service of the satellite system “Gonets” company, three new satellites are needed to maintain the system in a state of operational readiness. It consists of 12 devices – three in four orbital planes. “Messengers” are launched from Vostochny for the first time. In 2005, 22 Gonets-M satellites were launched into orbit from the Plesetsk cosmodrome by carrier rockets Kosmos-3M, Rokot and Soyuz-2.1b.

During the launch on October 22, in addition to the launch of the first Sfera satellite, the Gonets spacecraft were launched into orbit from Vostochny for the first time. In addition, it was the first launch from the new cosmodrome this year and the first flight of a Soyuz rocket, all three stages of which (and not just the upper one, as before) are filled with a new type of fuel – naphthyl, rather than traditional kerosene.


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