MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. Meridian spacecraft has separated from the Fregat upper stage and reached its planned orbit, Russia’s Defense Ministry told reporters on Tuesday.
"Soyuz-2.1a medium-class launcher, which lifted off from the state test space center Plesetsk [the Arkhangelsk Region] at 08.56 Moscow time on Tuesday, July 30, has successfully delivered the Meridian spacecraft into its calculated orbit at the designated time," the ministry said.
The ministry pointed out that the launch vehicle blasted off and the Fregat upper stage placed the satellite into orbit as it had been planned.
The rocket lifted off from Pad 4 of Site 43 at Plesetsk space center. It was the third launch of Soyuz-2 rockets from the Russian northern space center in 2019.
Assuming control of the satellite by Russia’s Aerospace Force
Russia’s Aerospace Force has assumed control of the Meridian military communications satellite, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press service told reporters on Tuesday.
According to the Defense Ministry, the satellite "entered its target orbit at the designated time and has been under control of the Titov Main Spacecraft Testing and Control Center of the Russian Aerospace Force, which will navigate it during its orbital flight."
"Reliable telemetric communications have been established and maintained with the spacecraft. The onboard systems of the spacecraft are functioning well," the ministry added.
The Meridian satellite will provide communications of sea vessels and ice reconnaissance aircraft operating in the Northern Sea Route with coastal and ground stations. The spacecraft is expected to expand the capabilities of a network of satellite communications stations located in the north of Siberia and the Far East with the aim to help boost Russia’s economy.
The Defense Ministry specified that the use of Meridian satellites in the highly elliptical orbit would help increase operational, technical and economic characteristics of the existing means of communications due to a wider spectrum of frequency bands, a longer active orbital life and higher reliability indicators.