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The first spacecraft from the Sphere project is being prepared for launch at the Vostochny cosmodrome

Preparations for the launch of the Skif-D spacecraft, which will be the first representative of the new Sphere project, have begun at the Vostochny cosmodrome, Roscosmos reports.

"Preparations are underway at Vostochny for the launch, through which the first satellite of the Sphere project will be launched into orbit. The campaign includes a full cycle of tests – from electric to pneumatic vacuum. Roscosmos employees will check how the onboard equipment installed in the upper stage works, as well as the tightness of all nodes, pipelines and tanks," the ministry said in a statement.

It is expected that the launch will take place at the end of October. The Sphere project involves putting 162 spacecraft into orbit instead of the originally planned 500 satellites. In addition to the "Scythians", communication devices "Express" and "Express-RV", satellites "Marathon", "Yamal", "Berkut" and others will be sent into space. In total, 95 billion rubles are planned to be allocated for the project, although the entire "Sphere" will cost about 180 billion.

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Author: Natalia Alyoshina

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