Meridian 1


Meridian 1 (Russian: Меридиан-1), also known as Meridian No.11L, was a Russian communications satellite. It was the first satellite to be launched as part of the Meridian system to replace the older Molniya series.

Meridian 1
Mission typeCommunications
COSPAR ID2006-061A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.29668
Mission durationless than 2 years and 5 months
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerISS Reshetnev
Start of mission
Launch date24 December 2006, 08:34:44 UTC (2006-12-24UTC08:34:44)
Launch sitePlesetsk 43/4
Entered service1 February 2007
End of mission
Last contactbefore May 2009 (2009-06)
Decay date6 July 2021, 12:20 UTC (2021-07-06UTC12:21)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Perigee altitude2,473 kilometres (1,537 mi)
Apogee altitude37,882 kilometres (23,539 mi)
Inclination65 degrees
Period717 minutes
Epoch6 July 2014

Meridian 1 was the first Russian Government satellite to be launched by a Soyuz-2 rocket. The Soyuz-2.1a configuration was used, along with a Fregat upper stage. The launch occurred from Site 43/4 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome at 08:34:44 GMT on 24 December 2006.[1]

It was constructed by ISS Reshetnev (at the time known as NPO-PM) and was believed to be based on the Uragan-M satellite bus,[2] which has also been used for GLONASS navigation satellites. It operated in a Molniya orbit with a perigee of 900 kilometres (560 mi), an apogee of 39,000 kilometres (24,000 mi), and 65° inclination.[2]

The satellite entered service on 1 February 2007. By May 2009 it had failed, before the end of its projected lifespan. NPO-PM reported that an impact with a piece of debris had caused the spacecraft to malfunction.[3]

Meridian 1 re-entered on 6 July 2021, around 12:20 UTC.[4][5]


  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 22 May 2009.
  2. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "Meridian (14F112)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 21 May 2009.
  3. ^ Zak, Anatoly. "The Meridian satellite (14F112)". RussianSpaceWeb. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  4. ^ McDowell, Jonathan [@planet4589] (7 July 2021). "Russia's Meridian 11L military communications satellite, launched in 2006, reentered around 1220 UTC Jul 6, probably near the Falkland Is. Final orbit perigee height was around 80 km" (Tweet). Retrieved 8 July 2021 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "MERIDIAN 1". 6 July 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2021.