Roscosmos hopes the first craft for the Arktika space system, designed in particular for monitoring the climate and environment in the Arctic zone, will be ready to begin test flights by the end of 2017, the state corporation's deputy chief Mikhail Khailov told Interfax on Friday.
"At the moment, the head company, NPO Lavochkin, together with its cooperation [partners], including with RKS (Russian Space Systems), is manufacturing onboard systems to kit out the first spacecraft. Already a significant amount of ground experimental work has been completed, and we hope that by the end of 2017 the spacecraft will have been readied to begin test flights," Khailov said.
The first stage of the creation of the highly elliptical space system - designing its hydrometeorological component - began in October 2012.
According to Roscosmos, under its contract with NPO Lavochkin, the state corporation is to carry out the research and development work to create the Arktika highly elliptical hydrometeorological space system and build and test the first of two Arktika-M hydrometeorological satellites. The two-satellite system is designed for meteorology, hydrology, agrometeorology, climate and environment monitoring in the Arctic zone.
In November 2015, the Izvestia newspaper reported that the Arktika's launch had to be postponed because of the U.S. ban on the delivery of parts for Russian satellites.
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