A Soyuz-2 carrier rocket with a Meridian satellite was launched from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia on Friday, said Col. Alexei Zolotukhin, a spokesman for the Russian Space Forces said.
Meridian-series communication satellites are used for both civilian and military purposes. They are designed to provide communication between vessels, airplanes and coastal stations on the ground, as well as to expand a network of satellite communications in the northern regions of Siberia and the Russian Far East. These satellites are designed to replace the older Molniya-series.
The Soyuz-2 is an upgraded version of the Soyuz rocket, which has been a workhorse of Russia's manned and unmanned space programs since the 1960s.