SAMARA, October 30. /TASS/. The Progress rocket and space center in Samara in the Volga area will provide for the launch of over 600 small satellites in 2017-2019 under a contract with France’s Arianespace, with contractual work to start from 2016, Progress First Deputy Chief Designer Alexander Storozh said on Friday.
"In 2017-2019, we are committed to provide for the launch of 21 Soyuz carrier rockets from the Baikonur and Kourou cosmodromes in 2017-2019. Overall, more than 600 small spacecraft will be orbited. We hope to start work in 2016 and now only a contract has been signed and no funds have come yet under it," Storozh said.
Under the contract for the production, delivery and preparation of 21 carrier rockets for launch, the Samara space rocket manufacturer will perform a whole range of design works, including the work to determine the scheme of satellite arrangement, considering that each carrier rocket will orbit over 30 satellites at once.
The sum of the contract was not disclosed.
Previous reports said satellites to be orbited under a contract with Arianespace will be designed to provide high-speed access to the Internet in rural areas across the world.
Arianespace is the French company and the first commercial operator to engage in space carriages. It produces, operates and sells the Ariane-5 carrier rocket.