Russia launches Meridian dual-purpose satellite
MOSCOW, Nov 14, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
A Russian Soyuz-2.1a rocket
carrying a Meridian new-generation military communications
satellite blasted off from the Plesetsk cosmodrome Wednesday.
The launch of the Soyuz equipped with the Fregat upper stage
was carried out at the designated time and went smoothly, Russian
Aerospace Defense Forces spokesman Alexei Zolotukhin told
The satellite was launched at 15:42 Moscow time (1142 GMT).
Newly appointed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was present at
the launch site in northern Russia.
The launch was the first of its type since an accident in
December 2011, in which a similar satellite was lost due to engine
failure on a Soyuz-2.1b rocket.
Meridian is designed to provide a communications service for
sea vessels and aircraft in the Polar and Far East regions. Russia
has two other satellites of this class in service.
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