MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. A Fregat booster has delivered a Meridian-M military communications satellite into orbit, the Defense Ministry of Russia reported on Thursday.
"A Soyuz-2.1A medium carrier rocket that blasted off at 11:24 a.m. Moscow time on Thursday, February 20, from the Russian Defense Ministry’s State Testing Cosmodrome (the Plesetsk spaceport in the Arkhangelsk Region) successfully delivered a Meridian-M satellite into the designated orbit at the required time," the ministry said in a statement.
The launch of the Soyuz-2.1A carrier rocket and the satellite’s delivery into orbit by the Fregat booster proceeded in the normal mode, the ministry informed.
As a source in the domestic space industry told TASS earlier, the launch was initially scheduled for January 24 but was put off due to a short circuit in the electrical equipment of the rocket’s third stage. After that, the rocket was removed from the launch pad and its faulty stage was replaced.
Russia’s Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems Company received an order in 2017 for the production of four Meridian-M military satellites, which represent second-generation communications systems intended to replace Molniya and Raduga space vehicles.