Meridian 2

Meridian 2

Meridian 2
Mission type Communications
Operator VKS
COSPAR ID 2009-029A
SATCAT № 35008
Mission duration Launch failure
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer NPO-PM
Start of mission
Launch date 21 May 2009 (2009-05-21)
Rocket Soyuz-2.1a/Fregat
Launch site Plesetsk 43/4
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Molniya (planned)
Perigee 1,277 kilometres (793 mi)
Apogee 35,244 kilometres (21,900 mi)
Inclination 64.84 degrees
Period 641 minutes
Epoch 27 July 2014

Meridian 2 (Russian: Меридиан-2), also known as Meridian No.12L, 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 received a Kosmos designation, it would have been Kosmos 2451 (Russian: Космос 2451 meaning Cosmos 2451).

While 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 278 MHz, 992 MHz-1002 MHz and 3.6 GHz bands.[8]

External links

  • Meridian 2 - NSSDC ID: 2009-029A
  • N2YO Meridian-2 Tracking - Live Meridian-2 tracking


  1. ^ "Russia launches military satellite into orbit". RIA Novosti. 2009-05-22. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  2. ^ Черноиванова, Алина (2009-05-21). С Плесецка стартовал "Союз-2" со спутником нового поколения (in Russian). Infox. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  3. ^ Космический аппарат и разгонный блок отделились от "Союза-2" (in Russian). ITAR-TASS. 2009-05-22. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  4. ^ a b c McDowell, Jonathan. "Issue 611". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  5. ^ a b "Launch of the second Meridian communication satellite". Russian Nuclear Forces Project. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  6. ^ Zak, Anatoly. "The Meridian satellite (14F112)". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "Meridian (14F112)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  8. ^ " - Meridian / Molniya HEO monitoring".