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Russia orbits forest fire monitoring satellite

The satellite is designed to operate for at least five years in orbit

MOSCOW, July 14. /TASS/. The Kanopus-V-IK forest fire monitoring satellite has been delivered into the designated orbit, State Space Corporation Roscosmos reported on Friday.

"The space vehicle has successfully separated from the Fregat acceleration unit," Roscosmos said.

Specialists will shortly establish communication with the satellite and place it under control. After that, the space vehicle will undergo three-month flight tests. The first activations of the satellite’s equipment are scheduled for August.

The satellite has been manufactured by VNIIEM Corporation. The workability of the Kanopus satellite platform has been checked by the first Kanopus-V remote sensing satellite, which has been operating for several years in orbit, and by the same-type Belarussian space vehicle (abbreviated as the BKA).

After the tests are over, Russia’s various federal and regional executive bodies will start receiving information from the satellite, including the Emergencies Ministry of Russia, the Forestry Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry and the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadaster and Cartography.

The satellite can spot a presumed pocket of fire on an area of 5 x 5 meters while its field of view will reach 2,000 km. The satellite’s data processed by specialists of the Research Center for the Earth’s Operative Monitoring will be transmitted to the agencies concerned.

The satellite is designed to operate for at least five years in orbit. If the high-resolution infrared camera installed on the satellite proves its efficiency during the tests, it will be mounted on the next satellites of this series.

A Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Kanopus-V-IK satellite and 72 more mini-satellites blasted off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan at 9:36 Moscow time.