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Russia to start deploying Skif satellite constellation for high-speed internet in 2025

Serial Skif satellites, weighting over 1 metric ton, will differ from the demo version

MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. The deployment of the Skif satellite constellation, designed to provide cheap broadband internet access, is scheduled for 2025, the director general of the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems (ISS) company Yevgeny Nesterov told TASS in an interview.

"The start of the Skif system’s deployment is scheduled to begin in 2025, with the launch of two Skif satellite prototypes," Nesterov said.

The official said scientists had already completed testing the systems and payload on a demo Skif satellite, launched from the Vostochny space center on October 22.

"Flight trials, when complete, will be followed by experiments in establishing communication channels, with regard to the Doppler effect and variable delay. Also, throughout its entire life span, the satellite will be involved in a study on effects of space radiation, experienced by a satellite with the orbit of some 8,000 km above the ground," the scientist said.

According to Nesterov, serial Skif satellites, weighting over 1 metric ton, will differ from the demo version.

A Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with three Gonets-M satellites and a Skif-D module was launched under the Sfera program from the Vostochny space center at 22:57 Moscow time on October 22.

Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned 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.