Published on 23 January 2019
The first Russian satellite for weather forecasting and monitoring climate and environment in the Arctic region, Arktika-M, is planned to be sent to near-earth orbit in June 2019, according to a source in the Russian space industry.
"The Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket vehicle with a Fregat booster and the first Arktika-M weather satellite will be launched from Baikonur in June 2019," the source said.
A second Arktika-M satellite is expected to be launched in 2021. The Federal Space Program for 2016-2025 provides for orbiting three more Arktika-M satellites in 2023, 2024 and 2025. However, no contract has so far been signed for manufacturing them.
The equipment installed on the Arktika-M satellite will be similar to that of the Elektro-L second-generation geostationary weather satellites. Arktika-M will be placed in a highly elliptical orbit so as to collect meteorological and hydrological information about the Earth's polar regions that are poorly covered by Electro-L.