Meridian 2

Meridian 2
Meridian 2
Operator VKS
Major contractors NPO-PM
Mission type Communications
Launch date 21 May 2009
Carrier rocket Soyuz-2.1a/Fregat
Launch site Plesetsk Site 43/4

Meridian 2 is a Russian communications satellite.[1] It is the second satellite of the Meridian system, which will replace the older Molniya series. It follows on from Meridian 1, which was launched in December 2006.

Meridian 2 was launched on a Soyuz-2.1a rocket with a Fregat upper stage, from Site 43/4 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.[2] The launch occurred on 21 May 2009, at 21:53 GMT.[3] While the launch was officially announced as successful, the satellite was placed in a significantly lower orbit than expected,[4] and it was later reported that the upper stage of the Soyuz carrier rocket had shut down five seconds early, and an attempt to compensate for the low orbit resulted in the Fregat running out of fuel during its second burn.[4][5] Following launch, it was reported to have been given a Kosmos designation, however such a designation was never assigned.[4][5] Molniya satellites intended for operational use were only assigned Kosmos designations if they were considered to have failed. If it had of received a Kosmos designation, it would have been Kosmos 2451 (Russian: Космос 2451 meaning Cosmos 2451).

Whilst the launch was originally considered to have been a partial failure, with the spacecraft able to correct its own orbit, it later emerged that the spacecraft could not reach a usable orbit, and the mission was declared a failure.[6]

It is believed to be based on the Uragan-M satellite bus,[7] which has also been used for GLONASS navigation satellites. It was constructed by NPO PM. It will operate in a Molniya orbit with a perigee of 900 kilometres (560 mi), an apogee of 39,000 kilometres (24,000 mi), and 65° inclination.[7]

Based on radio observations, Meridian-2 is known to downlink in the 278MHz, 992MHz-1002MHz and 3.6GHz bands. [8]

External links


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