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New geostationary weather satellite lifted by Russian Proton-M

Russia airlifted a geostationary weather satellite that is new, the Elektro-L No.3, on 24th December aboard a Proton-M spaceship that flew from Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch happened on time at 18:03 local time (12:03 UTC). It conducted a mission of six and a half-hour for Russia’s old heavy-lift spaceship.

Elektro-L NO.3 comes third in the series of weather satellites deployed by Russia to the geostationary orbit, from where satellites can picture and monitor the whole Earth’s disc. The Elektro satellites complete a low orbit of Russia meteor satellites in giving back data used by meteorologists in building forecasts and studying the climate. 

From the vantage points high above equator of the Earth, Elektro-L satellites check broad areas of the Earth’s surface. Elektro-L No.3 set to position at a longitude of around 165.8 degrees East over the Pacific Ocean. This will enable it to see Russia’s regions in the Far East, as well as parts of Asia and Oceania. 

The satellite set to join the Elektro-L No.1 and No.2 satellites in orbit. They were set off to space aboard Zenit-3F spaceships in 2011 January and 2015 December and worked at eastern longitude of 14.5 and 77.8degrees, respectively.

With the weight of 2,094 kilograms that is equivalent to 4,616 lb., Elektro-L somewhat more substantial compared to its two predecessors. This is possible because of the additional fuel. The Proton spaceship launching No.3 much more powerful compared to Zenit cars used in launching the last two satellites. These satellites launched with the part-empty tanks to be able to keep them within the payload envelope of Zenit.  The added propellant will enable Elektro-LNo.3 to station-keep for a long period. This will provide it with a better chance of going past its planned decade design life. 

The Elektro-L satellites designed by NPO Lavochkin and found around the navigator bus. Its primary instrument is 106-kilogram multispectral scanner- Geostationary (MSU-GS), a camera operating at 10 visible as well as infrared wavelengths that could take a picture of the full Earth’s disc two times in one hour. It can give visible light pictures at resolutions of a maximum of a kilometer equivalent to 0.6 miles, 0.5 nautical miles, and images of infrared at resolutions of a maximum of four kilometers equal to 2.5 miles, 2.2 nautical miles. 

Observable light and mid-wave infrared observations will assist supervise cloud cover as well as water vapor in the atmosphere of the Earth. Meanwhile, observations at the thermal infrared wavelengths will be useful in keeping track of temperatures of the sea surface. 

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