Express-AMU1, Russia’s new heavy communications and broadcasting satellite, has been inserted in the geo-transfer orbit. On 25 December 2015 at 00:31 msk the satellite was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on board a Proton-M / Breeze-M launch vehicle. The spacecraft separated from the Breeze-M upper stage at 09:43 msk. Following the satellite translation to the geostationary orbit and completion of appropriate tests, the satellite will be controlled using RSCC’s ground-based control facilities.
Express-AMU1, a high-tech satellite, is outfitted with transponders in the Ku- and Ка-bands and is intended to support the development of TV and radio broadcasting services, including DBS and broadband data, in the European part of the Russian Federation and in sub-Saharan Africa. Positioned in the geostationary orbit at 36˚E, the Express-AMU1 satellite will have a 15-year service life expectancy.
The Express-AMU1 satellite was manufactured on orders of RSCC under the Federal Space Program of the Russian Federation for 2006 – 2015. The building of the satellite was funded using extra-budgetary sources based on credits from Gazprombank JSC.
The commissioning of the Express-AMU1 satellite is scheduled for February 2016 after completing flight and structural tests and settling the satellite in its nominal orbital slot.On 24 December 2015, as part of preparations for the launch of the Express-AMU1 spacecraft, Nikolai Nikiforov, Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation, and Oleg Dukhovnitsky, Head of the Federal Agency for Communications, toured the RSCC's Shabolovka Technical Center. They familiarized themselves with the work of the Center for control and monitoring of digital communication and TV broadcasting systems, the Mission Control Center, and RSCC Center for control of satellite communication systems.