Russia will launch 640 satellites in the framework of a new program "Sphere" in the next few years, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
The satellites will be launched in phases, by 2022, 2024 and 2028, the president said at a meeting with the leadership of Russia's Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, according to a Kremlin transcript.
Putin said the new space grouping should be effectively used in the field of navigation, communications and remote sensing of the earth.
"It is important that both domestic businesses and foreign partners have shown their interest in this project, and, of course, its implementation should be launched at full speed," Putin said.
The president also underlined the importance of implementing a number of other major projects in a timely manner. These include the launch of Angara rockets starting in 2021, flight tests of the Soyuz-5 carrier rockets beginning in 2022, and the launch of a super heavy rocket in 2028, that will be capable of lifting more than 50 tons of payload to low earth orbit.