|Mission duration||Launch failure|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||21 May 2009|
|Launch site||Plesetsk 43/4|
Meridian 2 is a Russian communications satellite. 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. The launch occurred on 21 May 2009, at 21:53 GMT. While the launch was officially announced as successful, the satellite was placed in a significantly lower orbit than expected, 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. Following launch, it was reported to have been given a Kosmos designation; however, such a designation was never assigned. 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.
It is believed to be based on the Uragan-M satellite bus, 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.
Based on radio observations, Meridian-2 is known to downlink in the 278 MHz, 992 MHz-1002 MHz and 3.6 GHz bands.
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- Черноиванова, Алина (2009-05-21). "С Плесецка стартовал "Союз-2" со спутником нового поколения" (in Russian). Infox. Retrieved 2009-05-22.
- "Космический аппарат и разгонный блок отделились от "Союза-2"" (in Russian). ITAR-TASS. 2009-05-22. Retrieved 2009-05-22.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Issue 611". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- "Launch of the second Meridian communication satellite". Russian Nuclear Forces Project. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- Zak, Anatoly. "The Meridian satellite (14F112)". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- Krebs, Gunter. "Meridian (14F112)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- "UHF-Satcom.com - Meridian / Molniya HEO monitoring".
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