A successful launch took place on Tuesday as the Russian army sent a new satellite into orbit from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The military satellite will boost communications coverage in the polar regions of the country.
The Meridian relay satellite left the surface at 0556 GMT, and the launch took place at Plesetsk, a military facility which is located at approximately 500 miles (or 800 kilometers) away from Moscow, according to an official statement which was offered by the Russian Ministry of Defense.
The payload was carried into space by a Soyuz-2.1 booster, on which a Fregat upper stage. This latest launch featured the 10th flight of a specialized Soyuz version this year. The event was supervised by the Russian Space Forces, according to the Ministry of Defense. A representative of the Russian military stated that everything went according to the plan, and there were no problems. Ground controllers have established a stable connection to the satellite which has reached the desired orbit.
Russian army launched a new communications satellite
There are eight Meridian relay satellites into orbit, with the first one being launched in 2014. One of the eight satellites attained a faulty orbit at first, and a different one was compromised during a launch failure.
The three-stage Soyuz booster brought reached a suborbital target in ten minutes after the launch, and the Fregat upper stage propelled the satellite into an elliptical orbit which ranges between 600 and 25,000 miles (or 1,000 to 39,700 kilometers) above Earth. The orbit was achieved without issues.
Meridian satellites are manufactured as by ISS Reshenev, a Russian space contractor. They were designed from the ground up as a replacement for the aging Molniya communication satellites. According to the manufacturer, each satellite weighs approximately 2.1 metric tons (4,630) and can be used for at least seven years after they reach space. They play an important role in military communications as they link many of the army forces and command centers located in areas like the Arctic, Siberia, and the North Sea, which are beyond the reach of regular satellites.