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MOSCOW, December 23 (Itar-Tass) — A Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle carrying the Meridian satellite, which blasted off Plesetsk at 4:08 p.m. Moscow time on Friday, failed to bring the satellite to the designated orbit, a source in the Russian aerospace industry told Itar-Tass.
“The Soyuz-2.1b lifted off the northern spaceport at 4:08 p.m. Moscow time and the Fregat booster and the satellite were supposed to separate in nine minutes,” he said.
“Judging by preliminary information, the launch vehicle had a failure before the orbiting unit could separate from its third stage,” the source said.