Satellites

Another Intersputnik satellite gets into orbit

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Intersputnik's Express-6A satellite was launched successfully on 12 March (Moscow Time). The satelllite to be located at 80 degrees East, is positioned as a bird that will significantly improve communications capacity across Russia and was lifted off Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Proton launch vehicle. Under an agreement with the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC), Intersputnik will utilize the major part of Express-6A's 17 transponder strong C- and Ku-band relay capacity.

Express-6A will replace the aging Express-6 spacecraft currently in orbit and allows Intersputnik's customers to use earth stations without tracking systems, and providing a higher quality of services.

"The successful launch of Express-6A is the next step in modernizing Intersputnik's communications system," Gennady Kudryavtsev, Intersputnik's Director General, said. "The new Express-A series of spacecraft provides a longer service life, more capacity and higher radiated power. Express-6A will carry all of the television channels currently handled via Express-6, and also will be used for new digital communications and broadcasting channels including relay in Ku-band."

In addition to traditional services such as analog broadcasting and public switched telephone networks, Express-6A also will provide such services as digital television and radio broadcasting, Internet access and dedicated corporate VSAT-based Ku-band networks. Users of the Express-6A include such Russian television channels as TV-6, TV-Centre, AST; large telecommunications network operators (Rustel); dedicated networks operators (Insat, Sirena), and telephone companies from Intersputnik's member nations.

The second satellite in the new Express-A series is Express-3A, which is to be launched in June and positioned at 11 degrees West. This spacecraft will replace the aging Statsionar-11 (Gorizont-26) satellite. Express-3A will allow Intersputnik to offer more satellite channels to telecommunications companies interested in transAtlantic traffic.

Russia's Krasnoyarsk-based NPO PM is prime contractor for the Express-A-series satellites. The satellite bus is developed by NPO PM, while Alcatel Espace of France supplies the payload.

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