20th birthday of Express-A satellite
March 12, 2020 marked 20 years since the launch of ISS-Reshetnev’s Express-A satellite.
Express-A became the first project that had been carried out by ISS-Reshetnev Company in cooperation with foreign contractors. The letter A in its name stands for Alcatel Espace, a French manufacturer that delivered repeaters for the satellite which was built around ISS-Reshetnev’s platform. Working under the project, ISS-Reshetnev specialists managed to complete a challenging task of ensuring full compatibility of Russia’s and foreign satellite building technologies.
The Express-A satellite provided telephony, telegraph and photo telegraph services, secure governmental communications, tele- and radio broadcasting in the territory of Russia.
Launched into orbit on March 12, 2000, the satellite carried out its mission for more than 15 years instead of its 7-year designed lifespan. Later on two more satellites of the Express-A series were built and placed into the geostationary orbit.
Successful completion of this project not only strengthened cooperation between ISS-Reshetnev and its European partner (today known as Thales Alenia Space), but also gave rise to a more advanced series of Express satellites built by the two companies together.