Russia launches meteor-M satellite and 18 other small satellites

Today, Russia used a Soyuz 2-1b / Fregat-M launch vehicle to launch the new generation polar-orbiting meteorological satellite Meteor-M No. 2-4 at the 1S station of the Vostochny launch site. The launch was accompanied by 17 small satellites and Iran’s PARS-1 research satellite used to observe the moon. Nine minutes and 30 seconds after takeoff, the satellite’s upper stage assembly separated from the rocket and entered the initial transfer orbit. Subsequently, the upper stage helps to complete the deployment of the satellite into orbit.

Starlink satellites

This launch is the 39th space launch in the world in 2024, the third this month, the third for Russia, and the third for the Soyuz 2.1 launch vehicle. It is also the first launch mission at the Vostochny Space Launch Site this year. These 17 Russian small satellites are the “sphere” constellation Marafon IoT simulation satellite manufactured by the Russian private company Sputnix. 16 of them will join the Russian automatic tracking ocean vessel identification system SITRO-AIS constellation, and another Zorkiy-2M will join the ultra-small Earth remote sensing satellite constellation.

Gizchina News of the week

Yuri Borisov, CEO of Roscosmos, said on December 14, 2022, that Russia is ready to discuss cooperation with Iran in the development of spacecraft. Russia has also discussed crewed space missions with Iran, according to Roscosmos. On January 5, 2023, Roscosmos stated that it signed a memorandum of cooperation on launch services with Iranian companies SAHAB and SpaceOmid.


In summary, Russia successfully launched the new generation polar-orbiting meteorological satellite Meteor-M No. 2-4, along with 17 small satellites including Iran’s PARS-1 research satellite, from the Vostochny launch site using a Soyuz 2-1b / Fregat-M launch vehicle. This launch marks several milestones, including being the 39th space launch globally in 2024, the first launch mission at the Vostochny Space Launch Site for the year, and the continuation of Russia’s space exploration endeavours.

The deployment of the Meteor-M No. 2-4 satellite and the accompanying small satellites signify Russia’s ongoing commitment to advancing its space program and expanding collaborations with other nations, as demonstrated by its cooperation with Iran in spacecraft development and launch services. This successful launch contributes to the enhancement of meteorological observation capabilities and further strengthens international partnerships in space exploration and research.

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