OREANDA-NEWS. Russian company Gazprom Kosmicheskie Sistemy (Gazprom Space Systems) has begun a construction of the assembly plant for Sphera multifunctional satellite system in the city of Shchyolkovo (Moscow Region). Sphera is a competitor to OneXW and Starlink projects of American company SpaceX.

The Deputy Chairman of Gazprom corporation Vitaly Markelov, the First Deputy General Director of state corporation Roskosmos Yuriy Urlichich and the Minister for Investment of the Moscow Region Vadim Khomov took part in the ceremony of beginning the construction of the production building.

“Commissioning is planned for the third quarter of 2022,” said Dmitry Sevastyanov, the General Director of Gazprom Kosmicheskie Sistemy.

According to the plan, the plant will be able to produce up to 4 large spacecraft and up to 100 small satellites annually.

The launch of the Sphera project was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018. The system will consist of 600 satellites; its deployment is planned from 2023 to 2028.

The system-forming projects of the Sphera will be GLONASS global navigation system, Earth remote sensing systems, Express-RV and Gonets communication systems, Luch relaying system, Marathon global system of Internet of things and Skif broadband Internet access system.

At this plant, first of all, it is planned to produce satellites for the development of the Gazprom Kosmicheskie Sistemy orbital group: Yamal communications satellites, SMOTR remote sensing satellites, and Marathon small satellites.