Russia will launch the first satellite for meteorological observations in the Arctic
The launch of the first Arktika-M meteorological satellite is planned for the end of the year, General Director of the NPO Lavochkin Vladimir Kolmykov told RIA Novosti.
“The first prototype of the Arktika-M satellite has been manufactured and is undergoing radio-electronic testing under the program of the disassembled spacecraft. The launch is scheduled for late 2020,” said Vladimir Kolmykov.
In February, a RIA Novosti source reported that the launch of Arktika-M is scheduled for December 9. It will be conducted on the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with the Fregat space tug. Roskosmos declined to comment on this information then.
A group of such vehicles is planned to be created. In August 2019, Roskosmos materials on the government procurement website stated that the launch of the second Arktika-M satellite was postponed from 2021 to 2023. Vladimir Kolmykov confirmed this data.
“Construction of the structure and on-board equipment are underway on the second exemplar. In accordance with the contract, it will be launched in 2023”, he said.
The set of the equipment will be similar to geostationary meteorological devices of Elektro-L series. The satellite will be placed in a highly elliptical orbit, which will allow collection of meteorological and hydrological information about the state of the polar regions of the Earth, which are poorly visible from the Electro-L satellites.
After launching two Arktika-M spacecraft into orbit, the Hydrometeorological Center will continuously receive operational information on the state of the atmosphere and the surface at the Earth's poles. This will improve the accuracy of models in making short-term weather forecasts and provide scientists with a large amount of new data for studying the phenomenon of global climate change.