MOSCOW, June 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) plans to set up a single centre for services of Earth’s remote sensing (ERS) that will operate all Russian surface surveying spacecraft, a Roscosmos source told the Izvestia newspaper published on Thursday.
This structure, according to the source, will be formed on the basis of the Research Centre for Earth Monitoring, currently operating within the Russian Space Systems Co.
"The goal of this move is to rear a powerful global-level player on the ERS market," the source said. "The draft federal space programme for 2016-2025 provides for a considerable increase in the Russia ERS grouping up to two dozens of satellites. To market products received from these satellites more efficiently, it is planned to set up a centre that will build relations with government and private clients. This market is potentially attractive from the commercial point of view but to build a business organizational changes are needed, and these changes are to take place this year."
According to the Roscosmos source, the national ERS centre will take part in forming a state order for building new ERS spacecraft.
Currently, the Russian ERS satellite grouping includes two Resurs-P satellites, which make photos with a resolution of up to one metre, a Resur-DK1 satellite with similar characteristics, a Kanopus-B satellite with a resolution of two metres, and three working weather spacecraft. It is planned to launch one more Resurs-P satellite this year.
The current federal ten-year space programme, which expires in 2015, provided for the financing of the establishment of the Obzor-O ERS system of four spacecraft. The first Obzor satellite was to be put in orbit in 2015 but its builder, the Khrunichev Centre, has suspended the project, which will be passed over to another company. The project will now be implemented in 2020-2022.