express_am8

A Proton M launcher has successfully lifted-off Russian communications satellite Express AM8 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Around 6h 37m after lift-off, the spacecraft separated from the upper-stage.

Built by Satellite Information Systems – Reshetnev, the Russian Satellite Communications Company’s (RSCC) satellite includes a 641kg C, Ku and L-band payload.

The Express AM8 is built on ISS Reshetnev Express 1,000N platform, and was assembled, integrated and tested at the company’s plant in Zheleznogorsk, Russia.

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Rated at 5.9kW, the Thales Alenia Space-developed payload comprises 28 active C-band transponders and 20 active Ku-band transponders.

"Express AM8 will offer fixed and mobile communication services, as well as broadcast services, data transmission, high-speed internet access."

With an operational life of 15 years, the satellite provides two footprints, one covering Europe, Africa and the Middle-East, and the other in Latin America and along the east coast of North America.

From an orbital slot at 14°W, Express AM8 will offer fixed and mobile communication services, as well as broadcast services, data transmission, high-speed internet access and secure government communications.

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Thales Alenia Space president and CEO Jean-Loïc Galle said: "This new success reflects our ability to work efficiently with our partners from the Russian space industry, especially RSCC and ISS Reshetnev.

"Our partnership is now continuing through our joint venture, Universum Space Technologies, dedicated to the production of world-class equipment for payloads used in both domestic and export markets."

For RSCC, Thales has so far provided payloads for a number of its satellites, including Express A1, A2, A3, A4 and A4R; Express AM11, AM22, AM33 and AM44; Express AM2 and AM3; Express AT1 and AT2; and Express MD1 and MD2.


Image: RSCC’s Express AM8 communications satellite. Photo: courtesy of ISS-Rechetnev / Thales Group.