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Meridian (14F112)

Meridian [NPO PM]

The Meridian series of communications satellites is reported to be the replacement for all the Molniya-1T, the Molniya-3 and Molniya-3K satellite series and possibly also for the communication component of the Parus. They are launched into highly eccentric Molniya-orbits.

Meridian is the highly eccentric orbit (HEO) component of the Integrated Satellite Communications System (ISSS), where they work in conjunction with the geostationary Raduga-1M (Globus-M) satellites.

The bus structure is reportedly pressurized, possibly based on the Uragan-M bus. Meridian satellites carry three transponders operating in different frequency bands.

The first two satellites were launched on Soyuz-2-1a Fregat boosters, afterwards the improved Soyuz-2-1a Fregat-M took over. The fifth satellite was an exception, which used a Soyuz-2-1b Fregat-M booster inherited from another program. Launch site was the Plesetsk cosmodrome.

The second launch reached only a 290 km × 36460 km × 62.8 orbit, indicating a Fregat failure during the end of the second burn, with the third burn not taking place. The fifth launch failed to reach orbit.

The Meridian series ends with the seventh launch. It will be replaced by a new series beginning in 2016, which will feature unpressurized busses.

Nation: Russia
Type / Application: Communication
Operator:
Contractors: ISS Reshetnev (ex NPO Prikladnoi Mekhaniki, NPO PM)
Equipment:
Configuration: 3-Axis stabilized Uragan-M bus ?
Propulsion:
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 7 years
Mass: > 2000 kg
Orbit: 900 km × 39000 km; 65
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Meridian 1 (11L) 2006-061A 24.12.2006 Pl LC-43/4 Soyuz-2-1a Fregat
Meridian 2 (12L) 2009-029A 21.05.2009 Pl LC-43/4 P Soyuz-2-1a Fregat
Meridian 3 (13L) 2010-058A 02.11.2010 Pl LC-43/4 Soyuz-2-1a Fregat-M
Meridian 4 (14L) 2011-018A 04.05.2011 Pl LC-43/4 Soyuz-2-1a Fregat-M
Meridian 5 (15L) 2011-F04 23.12.2011 Pl LC-43/4 F Soyuz-2-1b Fregat-M
Meridian 6 (16L) 2012-063A 14.11.2012 Pl LC-43/4 Soyuz-2-1a Fregat-M
Meridian 7 (17L) 2014-069A 30.10.2014 Pl LC-43/4 Soyuz-2-1a Fregat-M