Debris from Meridian communications satellite strikes residence on ‘cosmonaut street’


Debris from the failed launch of a Meridian dual-use communication satellite aboard a Soyuz 2.1-b rocket struck a residence located on ‘cosmonaut street so named in honor of the cosmonauts of the Soviet and Russian space program.  The street and residence struck are located in the Novosibirsk in the village of in the village of Vagaitsevo, which is located in a  region of central Siberia in the Ordynsk district around 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the regional capital Novosibirsk.

According to a security officer in the local security services, a sphere measuring 50 centimeter (20 inches) in diameter crashed into the residence.  There were no reports of casualties and that radiation was within normal limits.  The head of the Ordynsk district, Pavel Ivarovksy, told the Russian media outlet Intefax that the damage was being examined by specialists and the owner of the property would receive compensation.  For his part, the owner of the residence, Andrei Krivoruchenko, said that he heard a huge noise and a crash as debris from the satellite hit his roof.  Krivoruchenko was at home with his wife at the time of the impact.

The latest failure of the Soyuz rocket, which is being attributed to the failure of the third-stage according to Roscosmos, occurred seven minutes after its launch from the Plesetsk cosmodrome near Archangelsk on the White Sea.  The failure comes just days after a Soyuz booster in the same vehicle family boosted the Soyuz TMA-3M  capsule and its occupants a Russian cosmonaut, an American astronaut and an ESA astronaut to the ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Meridian satellite on board the Soyuz booster was the fifth in the series starting with first launched in 2006.  The satellite series was intended replace the Molniya-1, Molniya-3 and Parus spacecraft and facilitate military communications between ships and aircraft that operate in the Arctic Ocean, as well as ground stations in Siberia and the Russian Far East.

Source: Hurryiot Daily News; Russian Space Web


About the author

Michael J. Listner


Michael is an attorney and the founder/principal of Space Law and Policy Solutions, which is a firm that counsels governmental and private organizations on matters relating to space law and policy, including issues surrounding space debris. Michael serves as the Vice-President of Legal Affairs for the International Space Safety Foundation and on January 1, 2013 assumed the role of President and CEO (Interim) for the ISSF. Michael formally served as Space Safety Magazine's Legal and Policy Editor and its General Counsel. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Information Systems from Franklin Pierce University and obtained his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Regent University School of Law, and he is a member of the New Hampshire Bar. Michael can be contacted at Follow Michael on Twitter @ponder68.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *