Moscow: A Russian communication satellite -- Soyuz-2 -- crashed Friday shortly after being launched in northern Russia, RIA Novosti reported.
A Meridian satellite launched from the Plesetsk space centre in northern Russia on board a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket, crashed near the Siberian city of Tobolsk minutes after liftoff, said a Russian defence ministry source.
Early information suggests that the Soyuz-2 suffered a malfunction during the third stage and the satellite came down in Siberia, the source said. It has crashed near Tobolsk. The exact site is currently being established, he added.
The Meridian-series communication satellites 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.