Russia Launches Rocket With First Satellite of Sfera Orbital Constellation
© Sputnik / Maksim BlinovThe launch of a Soyuz-2.1a rocket with a Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft
© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov/
VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME (Sputnik) - Russia has launched the Soyuz-2.1b rocket carrying the Skif-D satellite, the first orbital spacecraft from the Sfera (Sphere) multi-satellite orbital constellation, and three Gonets-M communications satellites, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Saturday.
The satellites will enter their orbits in several hours.
Roscosmos chief Yuri Borisov and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov were among those watching the launch.
The Skif-D satellite will demonstrate the capabilities of Russia's future system of broadband internet called Skif, which will also be part of the Sfera constellation. Another demonstrator, the Marafon satellite for the internet of things, is also scheduled for launch. In late 2025, Russia will put into orbit the first Express-RV satellite for high elliptic earth orbit.
Overall, the Sfera constellation will include 162 satellites, instead of the initially planned 500 satellites.