The Unusual Case of Russia’s Satellite Constellation: How Sfera Became Sphere


In a recent revelation, Russian President Vladimir Putin shared an anecdote about the renaming of the satellite constellation project known as Sfera (or Sphere) while announcing its creation. This article delves deeper into the story, shedding light on the dynamics between Putin and former Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. The narrative unveils the challenges faced by the project, highlighting its delayed timeline and reduced scope due to limited funding. Let us explore how Putin’s spontaneous remark led to the swift renaming of the satellite constellation.

1. The Sfera Project: A Vision of Broadband Internet and Earth Observation

The Sfera (Sphere) project aimed to provide broadband internet services from middle-Earth orbit and develop high-resolution Earth observation satellites. Learn about the ambitious goals and objectives set by Russian space corporation Roscosmos and the potential impact this project could have on Russia’s technological development.

2. Funding Obstacles in Russian Space Projects: A Common Challenge

Discover the financial constraints commonly faced by Russian space projects, including the Sfera project. Explore the reasons behind these limitations and the implications they have on the timeline and scope of ambitious initiatives such as Sfera.

3. From Ehfir to Sfera: Unveiling the Name Change

Before its public reveal in 2018, the satellite constellation project was known as Ehfir, a reference to the ethereal substance believed to permeate the universe. Learn about the significance of the original name and the reasons behind its change to Sfera. Explore how the project’s revised name aligns with its objectives and overall vision.

4. Putin’s Anecdote: Rogozin’s Swift Action to Avoid Embarrassment

Gain insight into Putin’s recollection of the moment when he mistakenly referred to the project as Sfera instead of Ehfir during a public speech. Learn how Rogozin, then head of Roscosmos, promptly confirmed Putin’s chosen name, cleverly avoiding any potential embarrassment for his boss. Delve into Putin’s lighthearted reaction and Rogozin’s subsequent acknowledgement of the incident.

5. The Power Dynamics Between Putin and Rogozin

Analyze the relationship between Putin and Rogozin within the context of the Sfera project. Explore the implications of Rogozin’s immediate action to rename the project as Sfera, indicating his loyalty and desire to align with Putin’s vision. Uncover what this tells us about the power dynamics within Russian space endeavors.

6. The Significance of the Sfera Project for Russia

Discuss the potential impact of the Sfera project on Russia’s technological advancement, connectivity, and Earth observation capabilities. Assess its importance within the global space industry landscape and how it aligns with Russia’s broader objectives in space exploration.


The anecdote shared by Putin sheds light on the intriguing dynamics between Russia’s President and Roscosmos head, Dmitry Rogozin, within the context of the Sfera satellite constellation project. It highlights the challenges faced by Russian space projects due to limited funding. Overall, the story showcases the adaptability and dedication of the Russian space industry as it strives to overcome obstacles and accomplish ambitious goals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *