Russia plans to launch over 100 satellites into space this year

Russia is planning to launch over 100 satellites into space this year to strengthen its position in the space industry as one of the world’s leading countries in the field.

Russia currently has over 240 satellites, more than half of which are used for socio-economic purposes, and some 100 more are planned to be put into orbit this year, according to data from the country’s State Corporation for Space Activities (Roscosmos) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Roscosmos plays a key role in the development of the nation’s satellite industry, though many private companies are also making moves to strengthen Russia’s position in the space field through various commercial and military satellites.

President Vladimir Putin had said in February that the allocated budget of 116 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) would be used to produce satellites providing high-speed internet connectivity across the country.

Prompted by the war with Ukraine, Russia is expected to boost satellite production and the development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Russia’s history as leading player in space

Russia launched the world’s first satellite, Sputnik 1, into orbit in 1957, which was the beginning of hundreds of other satellite launches.

The Molniya series satellites were launched in 1960, providing communication and television broadcast to not only Russia, but across the Soviet Union.

In 1961, Soviet pilot Yuri Gagarin became the first person to journey into outer space, launched aboard the Vostok 3KA space capsule.

Russia has been using the Resurs-P series Earth observation satellites since 1970s to capture high-resolution images of the world.

The nation has developed satellites for communication, navigation, observation, research, and national security, but one of the most important satellite systems made was the GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System), which began operations in 1982.

GLONASS was an alternative to, or better yet, an equivalent version of the US-made GPS (Global Positioning System), providing users to determine their location via 24 satellites.

The location system holds strategic importance to Russia’s national security, as it boosts the effectiveness of military operations, providing precise navigation for vehicles, weapon systems, and military personnel.

The Ekspress series communications satellites were launched into space in 1990s to provide telecommunications, broadcasting, and internet connectivity to Russia and its neighbors.

The Ekspress series satellites play an important role in connecting remote and underserved regions of Russia, the world’s largest country in terms of size.