Launched on a carrier rocket “Soyuz”, December 23, 2011 Spacecraft left the 43rd site of “Plesetsk” cosmodrome. Previously, these launch facility sites intended for for launches of missiles R-7, that were here on duty during the Caribbean crisis. However, now – converted for launches of rockets for space purposes. Meanwhile, the launched December 23 a space unit will provide continuous communication of the European part of Russia with the Far East.
The launched in December 2011 by the Russian Federal Space Agency communications satellite Meridian 5 became a success. 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 there it would have provided communications for the Russian military. Noteworthy, the newly formed Russian Aerospace Defense Forces will operat it.