Moscow: Russia will launch its first Arktika-M satellite for monitoring the Arctic climate and environment at the end of the year, General Director of the Lavochkin aerospace company Vladimir Kolmykov told Sputnik.
"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 said, adding that the second Arktika-M satellite is still under development and will be launched in 2023.
In February, a space industry source told Sputnik that the launch of the first Arktika-M satellite from the Baikonur space center was planned for December 9, 2020. According to the source, the satellite will be launched using a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the Fregat booster.
Russia's Arktika-M remote-sensing and emergency communications satellites will gather meteorological data in the polar regions of the Earth, which will allow to improve weather forecasts and will enable scientists to better study climate change.