Russia to develop satellite monitoring of Arctic

21:54, April 29, 2010      

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Russia was developing a unique satellite system to monitor climatic changes and survey energy resources in the Arctic region, Russia's top space official said Thursday.

Russia had begun the development of the Arctica satellite system, which will monitor the weather and environment of the North Pole, pinpoint hydrocarbon deposits on the Arctic shelf, provide telecommunications over the most remote areas and ensure safe air traffic and commercial shipping in the region, said Anatoly Perminov, the head of the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos.

"The creation of the Arctica system will not only allow us to monitor the ecology of the shelf, the water temperatures, the thickness of the ice floe and the pollution levels all year round, but will also ensure the effectiveness and safety of the exploration of the [Arctic] shelf for our and foreign companies," RIA Novosti news agency reported Perminov as saying.

He said the project would cost about 68 billion rubles (about 2.3 billion U.S. dollars), and the first satellite could be put into orbit in 2013.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reiterated Thursday while visiting the Franz Joseph Land, an archipelago in the far north of Russia, that the country had "profound geopolitical interests" in the Arctic region.



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