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VATUTINKI, Moscow region, September 6 (Itar-Tass) —— A new telecom satellite, which will replace the lost Express-AM4, will be put to orbit before 2015, Space Communications Deputy General Director Yevgeny Buidinov said at an international conference on IP communications and services in Russia.
“A new satellite will be launched before 2015 to replace Express-AM4. It will be named Express-AM4r, r stands for reserve,” he said.
“The construction of the same satellite with the same blueprints will be the quickest way to replace the lost satellite,” he said. Until then, the position of 80 degrees East may be used by international or foreign satellites, he added.
“We are considering every option. Our losses are big, and the insurance will not cover the lost years. The position [of 80 degrees East] is strategic for Russia,” Buidinov said.
Express-AM4 was launched from Baikonur in the early hours of July 18, but contact with the satellite was lost. The satellite never reached the designated orbit, and Space Communications, which ordered the launch, had to admit the loss of its satellite. Express-AM4 was supposed to become the most modern and powerful satellite in Europe and provide Russia with digital television and satellite Internet service.