Meridian 6

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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
Semi-major axis 26,737 kilometres (16,614 mi)[1]
Eccentricity 0.7220[1]
Perigee 1,006 kilometres (625 mi)[1]
Apogee 39,362 kilometres (24,458 mi)[1]
Inclination 62.73 degrees[1]
Period 718.04 minutes[1]
Epoch 29 November 2012

Meridian 6 (Russian: Меридиан-6), also known as Meridian No.16L, 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 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]


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]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "2012-063". 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". 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.