On March 25, 2021, the Express-103 spacecraft was put into operation, joining the orbital constellation of the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) at 96.5 ° E. All in-orbit flight tests of the service systems module and the payload of the Express-103 spacecraft have been carried out in full and with positive results.
The new communication satellite is designed to support digital television / radio broadcasting, high-speed Internet access and data transmission. It also provides maritime and in-flight communication services in and outside Russia.
“The Express-103 spacecraft will replace the Express-AM33 spacecraft in the 96.5 E slot, providing communications in the eastern regions of Russia and in the South-East Asia region. As a result, the launch of the Express-103 satellite is seen as a significant potential enhancement in the quality and reliability of the services. Importantly, the launch of the Express-103 satellite will ensure an almost total coverage of the Northern Sea Route,” says Yuri Prokhorov, RSCC Acting General Director.
The Express-103 spacecraft was launched into a GEO orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 31, 2020. The satellite was built by JSC Reshetnev ISS Company, the leading Russian enterprise in the rocket and space industry, jointly with the European company Thales Alenia Space. The Express-103 service life is 15 years.
RSCC runs Russia’s largest orbital constellation which boasts 12 GEO satellites operating in the C-, Ku-, Ka- and L-bands. The orbital constellation is located on an arc of a geostationary orbit from 14 degrees west to 140 degrees east, enabling RSCC to provide services to clients in 58 countries on all continents.