Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

Proton rocket launch of Express-6A satellite delayed
Posted: Feb. 29, 2000

An artist's concept of an Express-A series satellite in space. Photo: Intersputnik
The launch of a Russian telecommunications satellite has been delayed until March 29 due to technical problems, news reports said Monday.

Intersputnik's Express-6A spacecraft was slated for launch in the coming days aboard a Russian Proton rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

No details were given for the delay.

The satellite is first of two Express-A-series craft planned for launch this year to modernize Intersputnik telecommunications services.

Once in space, Express-6A will be operated under an agreement with the Russian Satellite Communications Company in geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above Earth's equator at 80 degrees East. The satellite will allow Intersputnik to offer a much wider range of services, including Ku-band state and regional digital TV and broadcasting.

The Express-6A's launch will be followed this summer by Express-3A, which will assume the orbital slot at 11 degrees West to replace the Stasionar-11 (Gorizont-26) satellite.

Officials say the two new satellites are Russia's most capable telecommunications spacecraft, each carrying 12 C-band and 5 Ku-band high-power transponders.

Express-6A is the second satellite built in the Express-A satellite series. The initial spacecraft was destroyed in a Proton launch failure on October 27.

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

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