State Commission to Launch Soyuz-2.1a From Plesetsk on February 20

Russia’s State Commission has set a preliminary date of February 20 for the launch from Plesetsk of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket with a military satellite atop, which was previously canceled, a source in the rocket and space industry told TASS on Saturday.

“The State Commission decided on Saturday to preliminarily fix the launch of Soyuz-2.1a with Meridian satellite atop for February 20,” said the source.

Earlier reports said that the Soyuz carrier rocket was scheduled to deliver the Meridian satellite to the orbit on January 24, but the launch was postponed before the rocket was fueled, TASS adds.

A rocket and space industry source identified the problem as a short circuit in a cable in one of the third stage’s systems. The source told TASS that the third stage had been replaced with a new one.

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