Russia's first satellite for monitoring the Arctic climate called Arktika-M is set to be launched by the end of 2020, as announced by the General Director of the Lavochkin aerospace company, Vladimir Kolmykov.
The launch was initially scheduled in 2019 but was delayed until 2020.
"As of now, the number one Arktika-M spacecraft has been developed and is undergoing radio-electronic testing," said Kolmykov.
Earlier reports said the satellite will launch from the Baikonur space center using a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the Fregat booster on December 9. However, the company is yet to confirm the exact date.
On the other hand, a second Arktika-M is currently under development and will be launched by 2023, after being postponed from 2021, the general director said.
Arktika-M's remote-sensing and emergency communications satellites aim to collect meteorological data in the polar regions, which in turn will allow for improved weather forecasts, as well as enable scientists to learn more about climate change.
Image credit: NPO Lavochkin
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