Thales Makes Second Attempt to Adjust Yamal Orbit

MOSCOW, December 11 (RIA Novosti) – Specialists from Thales Alenia Space carried out on Tuesday a second out four scheduled maneuvers to bring the Yamal-402 satellite into its designated orbit, Russia’s Gazprom Space Systems (GSS) company said.

The first maneuver with the use of the satellite’s own engines and fuel reserves was conducted on Sunday night as Yamal failed to reach its desired geostationary orbit after a premature separation from the upper stage of a Russian Proton-M carrier rocket late on Saturday.

“The current maneuver took a bit less time than the previous one,” a GSS spokesperson told RIA Novosti. “Thales specialists are satisfied with the result.”

The Yamal-402 satellite has been built by Thales Alenia Space for the GSS, a telecommunications arm of Russia’s energy giant Gazprom, to provide communication links over the most part of the territory of Russia, CIS, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The satellite, equipped with 46 Ku-band transponders, was launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on December 8 but separated from the upper stage four minutes prior to the calculated time due to an apparent glitch in the Briz-M booster, which has a rather poor performance record.

Even if the four-stage operation is successful, the service life of the satellite will be reduced from 15 to 11 years due to the unexpected use of fuel reserves.

The Yamal-402 is the second telecoms satellite launched for the GSS this year. The Yamal-300K telecoms satellite, built by Russia’s Reshetnev space company, was successfully orbited on November 3. Its service zone covers 95 percent of the Russian territory.


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