40th anniversary of the first Gorizont satellite launch
December 19, 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the day when the first Gorizont telecommunications satellite, designed and built by ISS-Reshetnev Company, was launched into orbit.
The Gorizont satellite was developed by ISS-Reshetnev Company in the run-up to the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. It was tasked with providing TV coverage of the Games globally. The first satellite launch on December 19, 1978 marked the beginning of building up a 4-satellite orbital constellation. When completed, the Gorizont system successfully fulfilled the goal of relaying coverage of the 1980 Olympics.
The Gorizont satellite was built to provide domestic and international communications, including radio, television, telephony and telegraphy. It was equipped with a communications payload operating in C-, Ku- and L-bands.
During the period of 1978-2000 years a total of 35 Gorizont satellites were launched. For almost 30 years those satellites formed the core of the country’s national orbital constellation of data communications and broadcasting satellites. Today the Gorizont series is recognized as one of the most reliable satellites ever built by Russian space companies. Having a designed lifespan of 3 years, satellites of the Gorizont series carried out their mission for 7 years on average, with the maximum operational life reaching 13.8 years.