The second Arktika-M satellite, designed to obtain meteorological data, was successfully launched into orbit.
The launch was carried out using the Soyuz-2.1b rocket, equipped with the Fregat booster, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the Russian space corporation named ROSCOSMOS said in a statement.
The Soyuz-2.1b rocket carrying the Arktika-M No. 2 satellite blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 12:18 p.m. Moscow time (9:18 a.m. GMT). About nine minutes after liftoff, the Fregat upper stage with the satellite separated from the rocket’s third stage.
The Arktika-M hydrometeorological satellites were created on the Navigator platform made by the Lavochkin Design Bureau.
The satellites will provide round-the-clock all-weather monitoring of the Earth's surface and the seas of the Arctic Ocean, as well as constant and reliable communications. Moreover, the satellites are capable of retransmitting signals from radio beacons of the international Cospas-Sarsat distress-alert detection system.
The first Arktika-M satellite was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on 28 February 2021. The constellation was initially planned to include two Arktika-M satellites, but in December 2022, the Lavochkin Design Bureau said that it would be expanded to four satellites. The Arktika-M constellation is expected to be fully deployed by 2031.