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First satellite of Russian Sfera constellation put into orbit

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Moscow: The Russian Skif-D satellite, the first orbital spacecraft from the Sfera (Sphere) multi-satellite orbital constellation, was successfully put into orbit after the Saturday launch, a spokesperson of Russian state space corporation Roscosmos told journalists.

A Soyuz-2.1b rocket carrying the Skif-D satellite and three Gonets-M communications satellites was launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome on October 22, at 22:57 Moscow time (19:57 GMT).

“Separation of all the satellites was completed,” a Roscosmos spokesperson told journalists several hours after the launch, specifying that Skif-D and the Gonets-Ms had all reached their designated orbits.

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.

It is currently planned that the Sfera constellation will include a total of 162 satellites, not 500, as initially planned. The system will include Express, Express-RV, and Skif satellites for broadband internet access, as well as Marafon satellites for the internet of things (IoT).

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