Shchelkovo (Moscow Region), November 26 - Neftegaz.RU.
A ceremonial event celebrating the start of construction by Gazprom of a spacecraft assembly facility (SPKA) took place on November 25. Taking part in the event were Vitaly Markelov, Deputy Chairman of Gazprom, Yury Urlichich, 1st Deputy Director General of Roscosmos, and Vadim Khromov, Deputy Head of the Government of the Moscow Region.
The 1st fully integrated enterprise in the history of modern Russia for the assembly and testing of satellites will be situated near the Telecommunications Center of Gazprom Space Systems. The facility will use cutting-edge technologies to produce civil spacecraft for Gazprom and other customers, including Roscosmos.
This will help, inter alia, expand the Yamal orbital satellite constellation and the SMOTR remote sensing satellites. These space systems provide for technological communication and monitoring of the company's production facilities. In addition, it is planned to engage the enterprise in implementing Sphere (Sfera), a forward-looking program aimed at creating a multi-satellite orbital constellation to ensure data transmission on a public-private partnership basis.
The SPKA assembly sites will be furnished with state-of-the-art and highly automated equipment. All products will undergo multistage checking procedures, with unique test benches providing simulations of space exposure and forces that occur during rocket vehicle launches.
The enterprise will have the capacity to manufacture up to 4 mid-sized and large communications and remote sensing devices or up to 100 small batch-produced devices per year. It is planned to bring the facility into operation in 2022, with Gazprom SPKA as the operator. Gazprom intends to launch 14 company-owned satellites into orbit before 2035.
Dmitry Sevastiyanov, Director General of Gazprom Space Systems, and Yury Urlichich signed an Agreement on the basic principles of participation in the SPKA project. The document reflects the intention of the Roscosmos to acquire a stake in the authorized capital of Gazprom SPKA. The stakes of the shareholders are to be specified in a special corporate agreement at a later stage.
The Yamal telecommunications and broadcasting satellite constellation consists of 5 units, including the Yamal-601 satellite, which was launched into orbit on May 30, 2019. The units are actively used by television companies, communications providers, and government entities.
The concept of the Sphere program devised by the Roscosmos envisages integrated development of space information technologies, which includes the creation of multi-satellite systems. The program encompasses navigation, communications and geodata, with satellites to be produced for the orbital constellations of Gazprom.
In October 2018, Gazprom and Roscosmos signed a Cooperation Agreement as part of the company's project aimed at setting up a spacecraft assembly facility in the Moscow Region.
In February 2019, the parties updated the roadmap for Roscosmos to develop and launch the production of advanced equipment, including import-substituting products, for the needs of Gazprom. The document was extended until 2022.