LAUNCH CENTER

Launch Image
Success
Tue Jul 30 2019
Russian Space Forces

Meridian-M No.18

Launch Successful
LAUNCH PREVIEW

Launch Time

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(5:57 AM UTC)

Launch Window Start

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(5:00 AM UTC)

Launch Window End

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(8:00 AM UTC)

RECOVERY OVERVIEW

Location

No Recovery Specified

Type

No Recovery Specified

Rocket Details

Name:

Soyuz 2.1a Fregat-M

Description:

The 2.1a version includes conversion from analog to digital flight control system and uprated engines on the booster and the first stage with improved injection systems. The new digital flight control and telemetry systems allow the rocket to launch from a fixed rather than angled launch platform and adjust its heading in flight. A digital control system also enables the launch of larger commercial satellites with wider and longer payload fairings such as the ST-type fairing. These fairings introduce too much aerodynamic instability for the old analog system to handle.

Soyuz 2.1a Fregat-M rocket
MISSION OVERVIEW
  • Type: Communications
  • The Meridian series of communications satellites is reported to be the replacement for all the Molniya-1T, the Molniya-3 and Molniya-3K satellite series and possibly also for the communication component of the Parus. They are launched into highly eccentric Molniya-orbits. Meridian is the highly eccentric orbit (HEO) component of the Integrated Satellite Communications System (ISSS), where they work in conjunction with the geostationary Raduga-1M (Globus-M) satellites. The bus structure is reportedly pressurized, possibly based on the Uragan-M bus. Meridian satellites carry three transponders operating in different frequency bands.
COMPLEX OVERVIEW

Location

Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russian Federation

Pad

43/4 (43R)