Moscow, Feb 28 (efe-epa) – Russia launched a Soyuz-2.1b rocket carrying the first Arktika-M series meteorological satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 9:55 am Moscow time (06:55 GMT) on Sunday.
The Russian space agency Roscosmos showed the launch on a live webcast, with the Fregat booster rocket block separating from the third stage of the spacecraft nine minutes after takeoff.
The satellite will be placed into orbit approximately two hours after launch, Roscosmos said.
Russian space equipment specialist Lavochkin built Arktika-M based on its unified Navigator platform, and has guaranteed the satellite’s operation for seven years.
The Arktika-M satellite fleet will include at least two satellites that will take turns in the functional sections of their orbits.
Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin has already spoken about the possibility that these two satellites will not remain alone, opening the door to a possible expansion of the satellite fleet in the future. EFE-EPA