Russian satellite to serve sub-Saharan Africa

Russian satellite to serve sub-Saharan Africa The Express-AM7 satellite has a projected lifetime of 15 years. (Image source: RSCC)A Russian satellite has been launched that will provide communications services to sub-Saharan Africa

The Express-АМ7 communications and radio broadcasting satellite was launched last month from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Proton-M with Breeze-M upper stage successfully orbited the satellite to a geo-transfer orbit, from where it has since transferred to its assigned 40˚E geostationary orbit slot.

Manufactured by Airbus Defence & Space under the Russian federal space programme and operated by the Russian Satellite Communication Company (RSCC), the project was financed from off-budget funds based on a line of credit from state corporation Vnesheconombank.

Express-АМ7 has a design lifetime of 15 years, and was built on a Eurostar-3000 platform, which supports an onboard retransmission complex with a mass of 1.5 tonnes and power consumption up to 14KW.

Scheduled for commissioning in May 2015, the satellite is also equipped with eight antenna systems, two of which are steerable, which the RSCC stated will enable it to respond flexibly to changing market demands.

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