The Samara Progress State Research and Production Space Center is capable of building 21 Soyuz rockets in 2017-2019 to launch approximately 700 telecom satellites of the British company OneWeb, Samara CSKB Progress General Director Alexander Kirilin told Interfax-AVN on July 7.
"This project will not hinder the fulfillment of other programs by CSKB Progress, including its obligations on launches of manned and resupply ships to the International Space Station and satellites in the interests of the Russian Defense Ministry," Kirilin said.
It is possible to build 21 rockets for the project "without expanding industrial facilities and hiring additional labor force," he said.
Arianespace (Evry, France) and OneWeb (Jersey, UK Channel Islands) announced in London on June 25, 2015, the signing of a contract for the launch of OneWeb mobile communication satellites through use of 21 Soyuz launch vehicles in the period from 2017 to 2019. The payload is small-sized satellites of up to 150 kilograms with Ku-band phased-array antennae.
The fulfillment of these plans will take 21 launches of Soyuz vehicles, at least 15 of which will be performed from Baikonur and Russian spaceports, and the rest from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.
The first Proton-M mission after the May accident has been scheduled for August 23.
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