A meeting was held under the leadership of Vitaly Markelov, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Yury Urlichich, First Deputy Director General of the Roscosmos State Space Corporation. The parties discussed the ongoing construction of a spacecraft assembly facility in the Moscow Region by Gazprom, as well as the acquisition by Roscosmos of a stake in the authorized capital of the project operator Gazprom SPKA. The capacities of SPKA will manufacture civil spacecraft, including Yamal communication satellites and SMOTR optical satellites for remote sensing of the Earth, for Gazprom and other customers. In addition, there is an option for assembling and testing batch-produced small spacecraft within the Sphere (Sfera) forward-looking program that is being implemented by Roscosmos.
In the course of the meeting, Dmitry Sevastiyanov, Director General of Gazprom Space Systems, and Yury Urlichich signed a cooperation agreement. The document reflects, among other things, the interest of Roscosmos in creating spacecraft using the capacities of SPKA. The corporation is also ready to use remote sensing data obtained by the SMOTR-B satellite. The satellite, which is planned to be launched in 2024, will be provided with, inter alia, equipment for greenhouse gas emissions monitoring. The Company will make up to 30 per cent of the spacecraft's output available to Roscosmos.
The parties will also look into the possibility of using a receiving station network of the Unified Information System for Remote Sensing of the Earth (created by Roscosmos) to receive data from Gazprom's spacecraft.
The Yamal telecommunications and broadcasting satellite constellation is responsible for backbone satellite communication channels and broadband access to information resources. Currently, the constellation consists of five telecommunications satellites, which are actively used by television companies, communications providers, and other organizations.
The SMOTR aerospace system for remote sensing of the Earth is intended for monitoring the production facilities of the Gazprom Group. The system's satellites will enhance the possibilities of geotechnical monitoring and control over protected areas so as to ensure a high level of industrial and environmental safety at Gazprom's facilities.
In November 2019, Gazprom Space Systems and the Roscosmos State Space Corporation signed the Agreement on the basic principles of participation in the SPKA project. The document reflects the intention of Roscosmos to acquire a stake in the authorized capital of Gazprom SPKA.