MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. The first Arktika-M Arctic monitoring satellite launched in orbit in late February transmitted first images to Earth, Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin announced on Monday.
"The first images from a highly elliptical orbit from an altitude of 30,000 km and 37,000 km, correspondingly, were made by a multispectral scanner (MSU-GSM) of new Russian Earth’s remote sensing satellite Arktika-M No. 1 launched from the Baikonur spaceport on February 28," Rogozin wrote in his Telegram channel.
The quality of unprocessed images "fully corresponds to specialists’ expectations," the Roscosmos chief said.
A Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the first Arktika-M satellite blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 09:55 Moscow time on February 28. In about nine minutes after the lift-off, the upper stage comprising the rocket’s Fregat booster and the satellite separated from the carrier’s third stage. It took the booster more than two hours to put the satellite into the working orbit. The Arktika-M highly elliptical hydrometeorological space system should comprise at least two satellites.
Arktika-M satellites will provide round-the-clock all-weather monitoring of the surface of Earth and the Arctic seas, and also constant and reliable communications.
The first satellite of the new Arktika space cluster was created by the Lavochkin Research and Production Association while most of the service and target instruments, including the MSU-GSM, were made by the Russian Space Systems Company.