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Russia to launch solar probe in January

The Coronas-Photon satellite to be launched next year. Photo credit: Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, Russia

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia is all set to launch a scientific satellite on January 29, 2009 to study the Sun's interaction with the Earth.

Quoting the Federal Space Agency, Roskosmos, RIA Novosti said the Coronas-Photon satellite designed to study solar and global warming processes had been delivered on Monday to the Plesetsk space center in Russia's Arkhangelsk region from where it will be launched.

While 80 per cent of the satellite’s components and instruments were made in Russia, the rest were from Ukraine and India.

The satellite is part of a three-satellite programme called Coronas to study the Sun from near-Earth orbit. Two satellites namely Coronas-I and Coronas-F were launched in 1994 and 2001, respectively.

The Coronas programme is part of Russia's Federal Space Research Programme, while the Coronas-Photon project is part of the Living with a Star (LWS) international space research programme.

The LWS experiments was carried out to increase the understanding of solar variability and its effects to improve predictions of space weather, which can harm spacecraft and astronauts in orbit and cause problems with radio transmissions and electric power grids on Earth.

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