Sunday, May 18, 2014

Russia's AM4R Satellite Lost at Launch

The Russian Satellite Communication Company's Express-AM4R, which was to be Russia's most powerful communications satellite to date, was lost approximately nine minutes following launch aboard a Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The satellite, which was built by Astrium and insured for about US$225 million, carried 63 transponders providing X-band, C-band, S-band, L-band, Ku-band, and Ka-band capacity along with 10 antennas installed. Its mission was to provide Internet access across a wide swath of Russia from 80°E.  AM4R was commissioned to replace AM4, which was also lost on launch in 2011.

In August 2011, the Russian Satellite Communications Company lost contact with the $265-million Express AM-4 satellite shortly after launch aboard a Proton-M rocket from Kazakhstan. The Express AM4, based on Astrium's Eurostar E3000 satellite design, is the largest of the Express satellites so far. IT is equipped with a total of 63 active transponders in L-, C-, Ku- and Ka-bands and 10 antennas, both fixed and steerable. Its mission is to deliver digital TV, Internet and telecom services for eastern Russia.