Russian Space Forces
- Type: Communications
- Orbit: Low Earth Orbit
- Launch Cost: $80,000,000
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.
Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russian Federation
43/4 (43R) has witnessed the launch of 319 rockets, including 319 orbital launch attempts, while Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russian Federation, has been the site for 1667 rocket launches.
Progress Rocket Space Center Soyuz 2.1a Fregat-M
The 2.1a version includes conversion from analog to digital flight control system and uprated engines on the booster and the first stage with improved injection systems. The new digital flight control and telemetry systems allow the rocket to launch from a fixed rather than angled launch platform and adjust its heading in flight. A digital control system also enables the launch of larger commercial satellites with wider and longer payload fairings such as the ST-type fairing. These fairings introduce too much aerodynamic instability for the old analog system to handle.
Russian Space Forces
The Russian Space Forces are a branch of the Russian Aerospace Forces, that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and protection for Russia. Having been reestablished following August 1, 2015 merger between the Russian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces after a 2011 dissolving of the branch. The Russian Space Forces were originally formed on August 10, 1992 and the creation of the Russian Armed Forces.