Launch site: Plesetsk
Launch date: May 22, 2009
The launch time is:
01:53 Mocsow DST 22.05.2009
21:53 UTC May 21, 2009
4:53 p.m. EDT May 21, 2009
Payload: Meridian military communications satellite
Spacecraft: Meridian (14F112) (meaning Meridium)
The available images vary:
Manufacturer: JSC "Information Satellite Systems Reshetnev Company"
Meridian series satellites serve as a part of the United System of Satellite Communications 2nd generation (USSC-2) used by various governmental agencies of Russia, including the armed forces. Placed in a Molniya orbit, it provides high latitude transponder coverage, while Raduga class satellites residing in the GEO, provide global coverage. Meridian is viewed upon as a replacement for the older Molniya-3 spacecraft class.
It is believed to have a pressurized hull part and overall design similar to Uragan-M class satellites that are currently employed as the mainstay of the GLONASS navigation system. Unlike Molniya series that only worked in the solar-facing attitude, the Meridian has full 3-axis stabilisation and rotating solar arrays.
Meridian satellites reside in Molniya orbits (900 km x 39000 km; 65°)
Launcher: Soyuz-2-1A with Fregat upper stage
No code has to be inserted here.Manufacturer: Samara Space Centre
No code has to be inserted here.It can deliver up to 6830 kg of payload into 220*220 km circular orbit with inclination of 62.8° when launched from Plesetsk.
The upper stage: Fregat (meaning Frigate)
Manufacturer: NPO Lavochkin
The dry mass of a Fregat (as of October 2006) is 924 kg; with fuel the mass is up to 5350 kg. Current modification of the main engine has a specific impulse of 332 s and a thrust of 2018 kg. The reaction control system includes 12 engines, each having 5 kg thrust, 225 s Isp, using pure hydrazine, with mass up to 42 kg.
The vehicle's reliability statistics according to http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/reliability2009.txt:
================================================================ Vehicle Successes/Tries Realzd Pred Consc. Last Dates Rate Rate* Succes Fail ================================================================ Soyuz 2-1a/Fregat 2 2# 1.00 .75 2 None 2006-
A picture of the previous Meridian satellite launch on Dec 24, 2006
After a 9 min long boosting stage, the payload assembly is put into 62.8° inclined initial orbit with mean altitude of 210 km. After a 15 min long coasting, a second Fregat's 613 seconds long burn puts the payload into a transfer orbit. After reaching the apogee, the orbit's shape is finalized.
Weather forecast for Plesetsk, Russia on May 21, 2009
There is a 0% chance of precipitation. Partly cloudy. Mild. Temperature of 18°C. Winds S 16km. Humidity will be 43% with a dewpoint of 5° and feels-like temperature of 18°C.
Watching the launch live
None available, sorry.