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Russia launches maiden weather satellite Meteor-M

The Meteor-M satellite.

MOSCOW (BNS): After delaying the lift off twice, Russia on Thursday launched its maiden weather satellite Meteor-M on board a Soyuz 2.1b rocket, according to a news report here.

The satellite was launched along with five mini satellites, a spokesman for the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, said. The satellite has already reached orbit, he added.

The 2,700-kg Meteor-M satellite, with a service life of five years, will gather data for weather forecasts, monitor Earth's ozone layer and radiation conditions in the upper atmosphere, as well as provide information on ice floe for maritime shipping in the Polar regions, RIA Novosti said.

The satellite will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 830 kilometers.


Earlier, Russia had to rely on data provided by the international cluster of weather satellites launched by the United States, the European Union, India and China as the Federation did not have its own weather satellites.

The Meteor-3M complex is developed as part of the federal space program in 2006-2015. It includes three Meteor-M satellites which would orbit the Earth. The second such satellite is scheduled to be launched in early 2010.

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