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Express-AMU1 telecommunications satellite taken to designated orbit

The satellite will be exploited for 15 years

MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. The Briz-M booster block has successfully brought the Express-AMU1 telecommunications satellite to the designated orbit, spokespeople for the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) told TASS on Friday.

Now, the client company, Russia’s state operator Kosmicheskaya Svyaz (Space Communication) will begin managing the space apparatus.

Express-AMU1 will stay in operation for fifteen years. Yuri Prokhorov, the director of Russia’s Kosmicheskaya Svyaz federal telecom enterprise said the satellite would come on stream in the first quarter of 2016.

Proton-M lifted off the Baikonur Space Center at 00:31 Moscow Standard Time on Thursday, December 25 (21:31 hours GMT on Wednesday, December 24). This was the 18th launch of the Proton carriers from Baikonur this year and the last one until the New Year.

Initially, the launch was scheduled for 00:30 on December 24 but it was put off for twenty-four hours because of gale in the area of the space center.

Express-AMU1 has been manufactured by the European corporation Astrium. It has the liftoff weight of about 5.9 tons and contains about 70 transponders working in the Ku and Ka ranges.

The satellite will be orbiting the Earth on a geostationary orbit, covering the Russia, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.