Russia to launch two Ekspress satellites via Proton-M

Russia’s Proton-M rocket will launch a pair of communications satellites Monday, in a rare outing for Russia’s heavy-lift launch vehicle. Monday’s launch is expected to take place at 12:07 UTC (17:07 local time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, with the mission lasting 18 hours from liftoff to final spacecraft separation. Proton’s payload is made up of Ekspress-AMU3 and AMU7, a pair of communications satellites to be operated by the state-owned Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC), also known as the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Space Communications.” Both spacecraft were constructed by ISS Reshetnev, based on the Ekspress-1000N platform, and are bound for geostationary orbit. They have a design life of at least 15 years but are carrying enough propellant to extend this to at least 17 years. While both spacecraft share the same construction, each has a different communications payload suited to its particular mission. At 2,150 kilograms, Ekspress AMU3 is the heavier of the two satellites. It carries 39 transponders; 30 of these operate in the Ku band of the electromagnetic spectrum, seven operate in the C-band, and two in the L band. It is also equipped with C- and Ku-band beacons. The AMU3 satellite will be stationed at…

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Russia to launch two Ekspress satellites via Proton-M

Updated: December 12, 2021 — 9:26 pm