Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

Intersputnik to launch two new Express-A satellites
Posted: Feb. 16, 2000

An artist's concept of an Express-A series satellite in space. Photo: Intersputnik
Intersputnik's strategic plan to modernize its telecommunications services will gain new momentum with the service introduction of two new Express-A-series satellites starting in April 2000.

The first of these spacecraft, the Express-6A, is to be launched on a Proton booster at the beginning of March. Under an agreement with the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC), Express-6A will begin operations with Intersputnik in April from an orbital location of 80 degrees E.

The Express-6A's launch will be followed in June by the orbiting of Express-3A. This satellite will be positioned at 11 degrees W, taking over relay duties from the Stasionar-11 (Gorizont-26) satellite.

These two Express-A-series satellites are Russia's newest and most capable telecommunications spacecraft. They each carry 12 C-band and 5 Ku-band high-power transponders.

"We are working hard to modernize the Intersputnik Communications System, and the addition of two new state-of-the-art satellites will enable us to meet the requirements of today's telecommunications markets," Intersputnik Director General Gennady Kudryavtsev said. "The new Express-A-series spacecraft have a significant relay capacity, and will help satisfy the rapidly growing demand of our customers in Indian and Atlantic Ocean regions. They will complement the next-generation LMI-1 satellite that was launched last year under the Lockheed Martin Intersputnik joint venture."

Express-6A is the second satellite built in the Express-A satellite series. The initial spacecraft was destroyed in a Proton launch accident last October.

Capacity provided by Express-6A will allow Intersputnik to offer a much wider range of services, including Ku-band state and regional digital TV and broadcasting.

The Express-3A satellite will be used by Intersputnik primarily for C-band high-speed Internet access channels for the Middle East and Africa from Europe (with a possibility to use Earth stations of Intersputnik's member states), as well as from North America. Ku-band capacity on the Express-3A is planned to be used for digital TV broadcasting.

Russia's Krasnoyarsk-based NPO-PM produces the Express-A satellite bus, while Alcatel Espace of France supplies the payload.

Intersputnik is an international intergovernmental organization established in 1971 to operate a global satellite-based telecommunications system. Today, Intersputnik has 23 member nations, and boasts some 28 years of experience as one of the leading operators of global satellite-based telecommunications systems. The Intersputnik Communications System includes Gorizont- and Express-series spacecraft, as well as the new-generation LMI-1 satellite.

Intersputnik provides high-quality international, national and regional communication services in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean regions. Intersputnik's users include state-run and private telecommunications and broadcasting organizations worldwide.

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