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Russian scientists to set up space observation posts in Arctic by 2020

November 07, 17:09 UTC+3

Russian scientists intend to set up a network of space observation posts in the Nenets Autonomous Region to control the movement of space debris and other objects

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MOSCOW, November 7. /TASS/. Russian scientists intend to set up a network of space observation posts in the Nenets Autonomous Region to control the movement of space debris and other objects, Head of the Applied Infrared Spectroscopy Laboratory at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology Alexander Rodin said on Wednesday.

"So far, we don’t have [such] ground-based observation posts for [monitoring] the situation in near-polar and helio-synchronous orbits. We are planning to set up such an experimental network by 2020," the researcher said on the sidelines of an international expert workshop, "Scenarios of the Development of Russian Arctic Regions," which runs in Naryan-Mar in the Nenets Autonomous Region.

"The monitoring of space vehicles is a very important task today and all the space powers are concerned over this because outer space has ceased to be empty. The problem of space debris and dangerous collisions is very pressing today, especially for polar areas that are the places for the convergence of actually all the orbits of space vehicles staying in helio-synchronous orbits," Rodin said.

The Arctic is "an extremely important testing ground for placing near-Earth space observation instruments," the researcher noted.

"Most of the space vehicles that stay in helio-synchronous orbits can be observed actually only from high latitudes. In this regard, the Arctic is becoming an extremely important testing ground for placing near-Earth space observation instruments. This program is being implemented within the framework of the space activity of Roscosmos [Russia’s State Space Corporation] while the existing observation posts in the Russian Federation are basically located along the country’s southern border," he said.

Russian scientists will soon start to carry out experiments in the Nenets Autonomous Region for outer space observation, the expert said.

"We will start the first experiments already in the coming weeks here, on the territory of the Nenets Autonomous Region, in Amderma, with the administration’s support. We are planning to place an experimental telescope prototype there already in late November and carry out the experiment by mid-December. We are acting in close interaction with the regional administration and hope that its leadership will be able to take part in the experiment," the head of the Applied Infrared Spectroscopy Lab at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology said.

International expert workshop

The expert workshop with international participation, "Scenarios of the Development of Russian Arctic Regions" runs in Naryan-Mar on November 6-7. The workshop has brought together scientists, representatives of specialized government agencies, the leaders of organizations of small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East and representatives of oil and gas companies. They are discussing climate change and the ecological development of the Russian polar region.

The forum is also focused on discussing Trans-Arctic shipping, the development of human and social capital, changes in the position and the role of indigenous peoples in the Arctic and the prospects of international cooperation in the Arctic.

The expert workshop with international participation, "Scenarios of the Development of Russian Arctic Regions" is being held by the Russian State Hydrometeorological University and the University of Northern Iowa Arctic Center.

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