Russia is planning to launch the Kondor, its first Earth remote sensing satellite, in January 2012.

The 1,700lb Kondor will be launched as part of Russia’s Arktika Earth observation satellite grouping to scan the globe’s arctic regions.

The satellite will provide high-resolution radar imagery and terrain mapping in real-time.

Russia is also planning to launch two Earth optical observation satellites, the Resurs-P and the Canopus-B, in 2012 to monitor natural and man-made disasters, particularly wildfires and environmental pollution.