Spaceflight Now Home





Mission Reports




For 12 years, Spaceflight Now has been providing unrivaled coverage of U.S. space launches. Comprehensive reports and voluminous amounts of video are available in our archives.
Space Shuttle
Atlas | Delta | Pegasus
Minotaur | Taurus | Falcon
Titan



NewsAlert



Sign up for our NewsAlert service and have the latest space news e-mailed direct to your desktop.

Enter your e-mail address:

Privacy note: your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose.



Advertisement






Space Books






Soyuz boosts military communications satellite
BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW

Posted: November 14, 2012


Russia launched a Soyuz rocket Wednesday with a military communications satellite to link ground forces, ships and aircraft in the Arctic and Siberia.


File photo of a Soyuz rocket at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Credit: Russian Defense Ministry
 
The Soyuz rocket launched at 1142 GMT (6:42 a.m. EST) from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, a military-run base in northern Russia's Archangelsk oblast, according to the Russian space agency.

Liftoff occurred at 3:42 p.m. Moscow time. The rocket flew in the Soyuz 2-1a configuration with a digital flight control system and an enlarged payload fairing.

A Fregat upper stage fired three times to place its satellite passenger - a Meridian communications spacecraft - into the correct orbit. The launch was targeting an orbit with a low point of 620 miles, a high point of nearly 25,000 miles, and an inclination of 62.8 degrees.

Russian officials declared the launch a success, and the Novosti news agency reported engineers established a "reliable communications and data link" with the satellite.

Deployment of the Meridian payload occurred around 1400 GMT (9 a.m. EDT), Novosti reported.

Wednesday's flight was the first Meridian satellite launch since a Soyuz rocket failure destroyed an identical spacecraft in December 2011. It was the sixth Meridian payload launched since 2006.

Meridian communications satellites are positioned in high-altitude, or Molniya-type, orbits covering polar regions, which are out of range of traditional communications satellites stationed over the equator.

The spacecraft are manufactured by ISS Reshetnev, a Russian space contractor, as replacements for a previous generation of Molniya communications satellites.

The Meridian satellites link Russian ground forces, aircraft, ships and command centers in the Arctic, Siberia and the North Sea.

Sergei Shoigu, Russia's new defense minister, toured Plesetsk on Wednesday and observed the launch, according to the Russian defense ministry.

John Glenn Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Final Shuttle Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Celebrate the shuttle program

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Anniversary Shuttle Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Mercury anniversary

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!


Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Fallen Heroes Patch Collection
The official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

INDEX | PLUS | NEWS ARCHIVE | LAUNCH SCHEDULE
ASTRONOMY NOW | STORE

ADVERTISE

© 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.