Earlier this week, Russia sent a space satellite named Arktika-M to the far-flung, cold Arctic region. The satellite will reportedly watch and note the weather and environmental patterns of the area.
The satellite is part of Russia's plan to increase its economic activities in the Arctic.
New expedition occurs in the midst of increasing arctic temperatures
Russia's plan has drawn criticism from environmental groups due to the effect of global warming on the arctic. Russia plans to invest in the area, and it's building a northern sea route amidst the increasingly melting ice covering the region.
The area has experienced a rise in its temperature, and it's currently estimated by scientists to be twice as warm as the temperature that was experienced in the region 30 years ago.
The satellite was sent to its destination via Russia's Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome by a Soyuz rocket. The news was announced on Twitter by the head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency- Dmitry Rogozin.
Russia to send more satellites to the arctic region
As part of its plans to develop the region, Russia is planning to send more satellites in 2023. According to Roscosmos, the satellites will provide Russia with 24hours reports about the area's weather and environmental patterns.
The satellite was designed to have an elliptical orbit that will move along northern latitudes. This will allow the satellite to mainly monitor the northern area of the arctic as satellites that are launched along the Earth's equator can't properly monitor the arctic.
Mia Bennett, a geographer working in Hong Kong, said more data about the weather and ice patterns in the Arctic will be needed as more countries explore the region for trade and economic reasons.
She also added that the data obtained by the satellites will probably be used by countries for military, commercial, and security reasons. She concluded by saying "There is also an element of data nationalism that is feeding into all this".