Russia’s state corporation for space activities Roscosmos plans to launch nine satellites into the Arctic orbit by 2026, to monitor the region and provide internet access.
Speaking during a meeting at the Vostochny spaceport, which took place on October 25, 2022, the deputy prime minister of Russia, Yury Trutnev, confirmed that two Arktika-M satellites will be launched into the Arctic orbit to provide hydro-meteorology data from the region. Another three satellites, including two Kondor-FKAs and a single Obzor-R will be sent up for radar surveillance purposes.
All five are expected to reach orbit by 2024.
Meanwhile, Roscosmos also plans to send four other satellites, Express-RVs, to ensure broadband internet access by 2026.
“Our key direction in the Northern Sea Route’s development is to have an Arctic orbital satellite group,” Tass cited Trutnev as saying. The Northern Sea Route is a shipping route in Arctic waters.
“Without the creation of an Arctic satellite constellation, the safe passage of ships along the Northern Sea Route is not possible,” Trutnev added.
Russia launched its first Arktika-M meteorological satellite in February 2021. Since the launch, it has been providing local hydrometeorology and environmental monitoring center Roshydromet with up-to-date information on the atmosphere and the underlying surface across the Arctic region.
Roshydromet estimates that once the second Arktika-M is launched, the center will be able to observe the North Pole around the clock.