The Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle has launched the Arktika-M satellite, the broadcast is being conducted on the Roscosmos website.
The rocket with the satellite was launched from the 31st site of the Baikonur cosmodrome at 9:55 Moscow time. At 10:04 Moscow time, the Fregat upper stage with the Arktika-M separated from the third stage of the Soyuz on a suborbital trajectory.
As the state corporation said earlier, the satellite will be launched into a highly elliptical orbit with a minimum altitude of 1,050 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 39,728 kilometers due to three starts of the Fregat propulsion engine. According to the plan, it will separate from the carrier by 12:14 Moscow time.
It is the first Russian spacecraft to monitor the climate and environment in the Arctic. Its weight is 2.2 tons, and its estimated service life is seven years.
The Arktika-M satellite was designed to operate in a highly elliptical orbit. It will solve problems of meteorology, hydrology, agrometeorology. For this, the product was equipped with two multispectral scanning devices (MSU-GS), which will make multispectral images of clouds and the Earth’s surface in the visible and infrared ranges.
In addition, a heliogeophysical instrumental complex (GGAK-VE) was installed on “Arktika-M” to monitor and predict the solar flare activity and radiation situation in near-earth space, as well as equipment for relaying meteorological information and signals from emergency radio beacons of the international space search and rescue system COSPAS-SARSAT.
The Russian monitoring orbital constellation in the Arctic region will consist of two such satellites. This will provide round-the-clock all-weather observation of the Earth’s surface and the seas of the Arctic Ocean.
The launch of the second Arktika-M is scheduled for 2023, and three more satellites in 2024-2025. After 2025, they are supposed to be replaced by five new-generation Arktika-MP satellites.
This is the third Russian space launch in 2021, and in total, according to Dmitry Rogozin, general director of Roscosmos, 29 space launches are planned this year.