The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) has conducted the successful launch of a Soyuz-2 medium-lift rocket with the Meridian-M military communications satellite.
The launch was conducted from Plesetsk State test cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region at 11: 24 a.m. on Thursday, February 20.
The launch of the rocket carrier and the maneuvering of the spacecraft into the orbit took place under normal operating conditions, according to a Russian Ministry of Defence statement.
Three minutes after launch, Soyuz-2 was accepted for support by means of the ground-based automated control complex of the Herman Titov main test space center. At the scheduled time, the spacecraft was placed into the targeted orbit and accepted for control by ground-based facilities of the Space Troops of the Russian Aerospace Forces.
A stable telemetric connection has been established and maintained with spacecraft with the onboard systems of the Meridian-M spacecraft are functioning normally, the statement added.
The Meridian-M communications spacecraft is designed to provide communication between sea vessels and ice reconnaissance aircraft in the area of the Northern sea route with coastal and ground stations, and to expand the network of satellite communications stations in the Northern regions of Siberia and the Far East in the interests of developing the Russian Federation’s economy.
This is the first launch of the Soyuz-2 rocket carrier from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in 2020. Flight tests of the Soyuz 2 space rocket complex began at the Plesetsk cosmodrome on November 8, 2004. Over the past 15 years, 43 launches of Soyuz-2 rocket carriers of series 1A, 1B and 1B have been carried out from the Northern cosmodrome.