Meridian 6

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Meridian 6
Mission type Communication
COSPAR ID 2012-063A[1]
SATCAT № 38995[1]
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer ISS Reshetnev[2]
Start of mission
Launch date 14 November 2012, 11:42 (2012-11-14UTC11:42Z) UTC
Rocket Soyuz 2.1a/Fregat[1][3]
Launch site Plesetsk 43/4[1][3]
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Molniya
Eccentricity 0.7249[1]
Perigee 977 kilometres (607 mi)[1]
Apogee 39,740 kilometres (24,690 mi)[1]
Inclination 62.82 degrees[1][1]
Period 725.14 minutes[1]

Meridian 6 (Russian: Меридиан-6) is a Russian military communications satellite, one of the Meridian series. It is designed to carry military communications traffic and is a replacement for the molniya satellites. In common with the earlier satellites these craft are in molniya orbits, a highly elliptical orbit named after the earlier satellites and giving good coverage of northern Russia.

Meridian[edit]

Meridian satellites are the replacement for older Soviet molniya satellites, and some authors think some functions of the parus satellites.[1][2] They are built by ISS Reshetnev and may share some components with their GLONASS-M satellites. The first Meridian satellite was launched in 2006 and two of the six launched so far have failed - Meridian 2 due a problem with the Fregat upper stage and Meridian 5 due to a problem with the third stage motor.[4]

The satellites are believed to have a pressurised bus and a three axis control system. They are manufactured by PO Polyot on behalf of ISS Reshetnev. They have the GRAU index 14F112.[2][5]

Launch[edit]

Meridian was launched on 14 November 2012 from Plesetsk Cosmodrome launchpad 43/4 by a Soyuz-2.1a rocket with a Fregat upper stage. It was launched at 11:42 UTC and the satellite and upper stage separated from the rocket at 11:51 UTC. The satellite was then released from the upper stage into a molniya orbit at 14:00 UTC. It was given the international designator 2012-063A and the United States Space Command assigned it the Satellite Catalog Number 38995.[1][4][5][6]

The launch was attended by newly appointed Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu in his first visit to the troops since being appointed on 6 November 2012.[5][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "2012-063". zarya.info. 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ a b c "Meridian (14F112)". Gunter's Space Page. 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  3. ^ a b Pavel, Podvig (2012-11-14). "Successful launch of Meridian communication satellite". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  4. ^ a b Graham, William (2012-11-14). "Soyuz 2-1A launches latest Meridian satellite for the Russian military". NASAspaceflight.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  5. ^ a b c Zak, Anatoly (2012-11-15). "The Meridian project". Russian Space Web. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  6. ^ "Soyuz/Fregat launches with next Meridian Satellite". spaceflight101. 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  7. ^ "Министр обороны России генерал армии Сергей Шойгу совершил первую поездку в войска" [Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu made his first visit to the troops] (in Russian). Russian Ministry of Defence. 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2012-11-25.