Watch the Launch

Meridian-M No.18

Overview

Destination: Low Earth Orbit
Mission: Communications

Low Earth Orbit 43/4 (43R) Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russian Federation

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.

Launch Infographic

Geoff Barrett is an independent graphic artist that creates launch infographics for space flight events.

Soyuz 2.1a/Fregat-M

Family: Soyuz
Configuration: Fregat-M

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.

Specifications
  • Stages
    3
  • Length
    46.3 m
  • Diameter
    2.95 m
  • Fairing Diameter
  • Launch Mass
    312 T
  • Thrust
    4149 kN
Family
  • Name
    Soyuz 2.1a/Fregat-M
  • Family
    Soyuz
  • Variant
    Fregat-M
  • Alias
  • Full Name
    Soyuz 2.1a Fregat-M
Payload Capacity
  • Launch Cost
    $80,000,000
  • Low Earth Orbit
    7020 kg
  • Geostationary Transfer Orbit
  • Direct Geostationary
  • Sun-Synchronous Capacity

Progress Rocket Space Center

Circle Image
Dmitry Baranov Founded: 1996 Successes: 165 Failures: 7 Pending: 22

Agency Type: Commercial

Progress Rocket Space Centre, formerly known as TsSKB-Progress, is a space science and aerospace research company which is known for manufacturing launch vehicles and satellites. Most notably, Progress Rocket Space Centre is the manufacturer of Soyuz launch vehicles.

INFO WIKI

Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russian Federation

43/4 (43R)


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