Express AM-4 satellite lost for users – Space Communications

MOSCOW, August 30 (Itar-Tass) — The Express AM-4 satellite put to a wrong orbit on August 18 cannot be used properly, the Space Communications Federal State Unitary Enterprise reported on Tuesday.

“Space Communications declared the full loss of the satellite and put an indemnity claim to Ingosstrakh. The indemnity will exceed 7.5 billion rubles,” the company said.

A Proton-M heavy rocket with a Briz-M booster carried Express AM-4, a product of the Khrunichev Center and EADS Astrium, to space from Baikonur on August 18. After the separation from the delivery vehicle, the engine of the booster turned on four times out of the five planned and the transmission of telemetric data stopped. The ground control station hoped that despite the loss of signal the booster’s engine would start up for the fifth time to put the satellite to the designated orbit. Their hopes proved wrong.

Express AM-4 is a new-class satellite built to provide multi-services, such as digital television and radio broadcast, telephony, videoconference, data transfer and the Internet. It carries 63 C, Ku, Ka and L transponders and antennas, which were supposed to cover practically the entire territory of Russia, CIS countries and Central Europe. The satellite cost about $300 million.

The federal program of television and radio broadcast in the Russian Federation in 2009-2015 provides the construction of another four satellites of the class, among them Express AM5, Express AM6, Express AM7 and Express AM8. Two satellites are under construction to be launched in 2012 and 2013. It is not planned to change the schedule.


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