Russia successfully launched a Soyuz 2-1b Fregat M vehicle carrying the Arktika-M 1 satellite into a highly inclined elongated Molniya orbit at 0655 GMT on 28 February 2021. The Arktika-M 1 satellite was built by NPO Lavotchkin for the Roshydromet (Russian Weather Service) and will mainly be used to provide meteorological data about the Arctic region. Apart from a meteorological imaging payload the satellite carries a store-forward communications instrument to relay data collected by remote weather measurement posts and buoys. The satellite also carries a Search and Rescue instrument for the Cospas/Sarsat organisation.
David Todd contributed to this story