New Express satellites in orbit
On July 31, 2020 two ISS-Reshetnev-built telecommunications satellites – Express-80 and Express-103 – have been successfully launched.
A Proton-M/Breeze-M rocket with the Express satellites onboard lifted off from a launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome at 00:25 Moscow time. Flying for the first time this year, the Proton vehicle carried a pair of satellites (for the fifth time in ISS-Reshetnev’s history) that will use electric thrusters to reach their final positions in circular geostationary orbits (the third launch using this technology).
At 18:24 Moscow time Express-80 separated from the upper stage, the deployment of Express-103 followed 17 minutes later. The both satellites have deployed their mechanical subsystems and established their orientation relative to the Earth and Sun. Express-80 and Express-103 are now flying to their final destinations using electric thrusters.
Before entering service, the both satellites will undergo flight tests following which they will be placed in their orbital slots and begin providing services.
Express-80 and Express-103 are built around ISS-Reshetnev’s Express-1000H platform, the payload power is 6300 W.
Express-80 has a mass of 2110 kg and carries 38 transponders, including 16 operating in C-band, 20 in Ku-band, and 2 in L-band.
Express-103 has a mass of 2280 kg and is equipped with 37 transponders: 16 in C-band, 20 in Ku-band and 1 – L-band.
Express-80 and Express-103 are intended to provide a wide range of telecommunications services across Russia and the CIS countries. The both satellites have a designed lifespan of 15 years.