Russia is planning to launch a satellite called Arktika-M at the end of the year to monitor the Arctic climate and environment. The announcement was made by Vladimir Kolmykov, General Director of the Lavochkin aerospace company.
Russia’s Arktika-M remote-sensing and emergency communications satellites aim to gather meteorological data in the polar regions, which will allow for improved weather forecasts and enable scientists to study climate change better. The satellite was initially scheduled to launch in 2019 but was delayed to 2020.
Earlier reports said that the Arktika-M satellite launch from the Baikonur space centre was planned for December 9, 2020. According to sources, the satellite will be launched using a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the Fregat booster. The company is yet to confirm a date.
“As of now, the number one Arktika-M spacecraft has been developed and is undergoing radio-electronic testing … the launch is planned for the end of 2020,” Kolmykov was quoted as saying, adding that the second Arktika-M satellite is still under development and will be launched in 2023.