The mishap occurred about seven minutes after the "Soyuz-2.1b” rocket-carrier equipped with the "Fregat” booster was launched from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia on December 23, 2011 at 12:08 UTC. The Soyuz rocket fell back to Earth a few minutes after launch. The RIA Novosti news agency reported debris was found in the region of Novosibirsk, the third-largest city in Russia. Novosibirsk is about 3000 kilometers southeast of Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The rocket was to orbit the "Meridian” communications satellite for the Russian military.