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Three Gonets-M satellites, first Sfera module put into orbit

It is the first rocket launch from Vostochny in 2022

VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, October 23. /TASS/. Three Gonets-M satellites and a Skif-D module, launched on a Soyuz-2.1b vehicle from the Vostochny cosmodrome on Saturday, were put into orbit, Roscosmos told TASS.

"We have a separation of Gonets-M and Skif-D devices," Roscosmos said.

Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle carrying three Gonets-M satellites and a Skif-D module, was launched under the Sfera program from the Vostochny Cosmodrome at 22:57 Moscow time on Saturday.

It is the first rocket launch from Vostochny in 2022. The Gonets-M satellites were launched from that spaceport for the first time. Skif-D is also the first module to be launched into space under the Sfera program.

Russian President Vladimir Putin talked about the Sfera program during his annual Q&A session on June 7, 2018. The program includes the launch of communications and Earth remote sensing satellites. Former Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin said at the time that the Sfera program would include five satellite constellations providing telecom services, and another five designed for monitoring.

Gonets is Russia’s only low-orbit satellite communications system designed for the global exchange of various types of information with mobile and stationary facilities, as well as organizing re-broadcasting channels for various purposes.