Express-AM6 DTH satellite put into orbit over Russia

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
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New heavy telecommunications satellite Express-AM6 put into orbit

On October 22, 2014 the Russian communications and broadcasting satellite Express-AM6 was launched into orbit. A Proton-M rocket booster took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (space launch facility) on October 21, 2014 at 19.09 (Moscow time). The new Express-AM6 heavy-class space vehicle will be deployed into geostationary orbit at 53 ° East, from where it will provide coverage of European Russia, the Urals and Western Siberia as well as the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

The Express-AM6 spacecraft was commissioned by the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) and built by Reshetnev ISS (Information Satellite Systems) of Russia in association with Canadian-based MDA and Russian NIIR (Radio Research and Development Institute). The satellite is based on the Express-2000 satellite platform and is equipped to carry 72 C-, Ku-, Ka- and L- bands transponders (bringing the combined capacity to more than 2,700 MHz). The vehicle service life is 15 years.

The Express-AM6 has been built based in consideration of the domestic market outlook for satellite communications and broadcasting services as set out in the Federal Target Program ‘Development of TV and Radio Broadcasting in the Russian Federation for 2009-2015’ under the Federal Space Program of Russia until 2015. The satellite will provide additional infrastructure to make multi-program digital television and radio broadcasting services, including HD television, accessible to the Russia’s western regions. The AM6 space vehicle is also designed to furnish mobile presidential and governmental communications, broadband Internet and multi-service access capabilities (digital TV, telephony, video conferencing and data transmission) as well as to set up VSAT communications networks in European Russia, the Urals and Western Siberia. Apart from that, the Express-AM6 satellite is proposed to be used for international projects to benefit Russian and foreign users in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

The Express-AM6 satellite is expected to be commissioned at 53°East in the first quarter of 2015 after completion of requisite flight tests and inspection of all on-board systems.

“It would not be much of an exaggeration to say that the launch of the Express-AM6 is the most anticipated event of the year in the satellite industry. With the new satellite in action, the overarching task of broadcasting nationwide television programs from Kaliningrad to Irkutsk will be addressed,” stressed General Director of RSCC Yuri Prokhorov. “The Express-AM6 has been built under the Federal Target Program ‘Development of TV and Radio Broadcasting in Russia in 2009-2015’. The first satellite produced in the context of this Federal Target Program is Express-AM5 and it has been servicing the consumer needs in the Far East and Siberia since April 2014. Another two spacecraft – Express-AM7 and AM8 – are expected to be launched in the first quarter of the next year. Thus, continuous high-quality broadcasting service will be secured for the first, second and subsequent federal multiplexes throughout Russia”.