Proton M booster with Briz-M upper stage and two communication satellites of Express-AT series was successfully launched from Baikonur spaceport. Briz-M upper stage that was to set two communication Express-AT satellites into the geostationary transfer orbit separated from Proton-M booster, – Roscosmos representative reported.
Proton-M with Express-AT1 and Express-At2 satellites was launched from Baikonur spaceport at 3.08 Moscow time. The separation of the head comprising Briz-M upper stage and two satellites took place as planned.
The satellites were orbited and separated from Briz-M one by one. First Express-AT1 satellite separated from the upper stage at 12.10 Moscow time, 18 minutes later Express-At2 also separated from Briz-M. After that both satellites were gradually transferred to their operating points on geostationary orbit with the help of their own thrusters, – the spokesman stated.
Express-AT1 satellite weights 1726 kg, its operation expectancy amounts to 15 years. The satellite will be placed at the orbit location point of 56 degrees eastern longitude.
Express-AT2 satellite is similar to Express-AT1 but lighter in weight (1427 kg). Estimated orbit location point of this satellite is 140 degrees Eastern longitude.
Both satellites were designed by JSC Reshetnev Information Satellite systems in collaboration with Thales Alenia Space Company (France) against the order of Space Communication federal State unitary Enterprise in the framework of Russian Federal Space program for 2006-2015.
Image credit – Roscosmos