December 23, 2011 Meridian Spacecraft was launched on a carrier rocket “Soyuz” from the 43rd site of “Plesetsk” cosmodrome. Previously, these launch facility sites were designed for for launches of missiles R-7, that were here on duty during the Caribbean crisis. Now they are converted for launches of rockets for space purposes. On December 23 a space unit was launched, which will provide continuous communication of the European part of Russia with the Far East.
Communications satellite Meridian 5 was launched by the Russian Federal Space Agency which was lost in a launch failure in December 2011. The fifth Meridian spacecraft to be launched, Meridian 5 was to have been deployed into a Molniya orbit with an apogee of 39,000 kilometers (24,000 mi), a perigee of 900 kilometers (560 mi) and 65 degrees of orbital inclination; from which it would have provided communications for the Russian military. It would have been operated by the newly formed Russian Aerospace Defense Forces.