A Proton-M launch vehicle with the Briz-M booster and with the Russian communication satellites Express-80 and Express-103 on board was successfully launched on the 31st of July 2020 at 00:25:19 Moscow time. The active flight of Proton lasted 587 seconds, and then the orbital block was put into a suborbital trajectory.
Spacecraft transfer into the operation point on the geostationary orbit will be performed using the SPT-100B thrusters produced by the JSC EDB Fakel (Kaliningrad).
Selection of such a transfer scheme has been caused by the fact that capabilities of the Proton-M launch vehicle do not allow to perform direct putting of Express-80 and Express-103 into geostationary orbit. To perform the transferring procedure, for the first time in Russia additional SPT-100B thrusters produced by the JSC EDB Fakel were installed on Express-80 and Express-103 (in addition to similar correction thrusters also produced by the JSC EDB Fakel). Previously similar procedure was already successfully used on Express AM5 and Express AM6 spacecraft using the same thrusters, but used for S/C orbit correction.
Transfer phase duration for Express-80 satellite is not more than 152 days, and for Express-103 satellite – not more than 160 days.
Express-80 and Express-103 are the Russian telecommunication spacecraft of middle class manufactured by Information Space Systems named after academician M.F. Reshetnev (being a part of Roscosmos state corporation) on the basis of the Express-1000H satellite platform. The spacecraft are intended for providing services of fixed and mobile communication, digital TV broadcasting, high-speed access to Internet information and telecommunication network, as well as for data transmission on the territory of the Russian Federation and CIS countries in C-, Ku-, and L-bands. The Spacecraft will have to operate in orbit for not less than 15 years.
JSC EDB Fakel (a part of the state corporation Roscosmos) is one of the leading enterprises in development of electric propulsion systems and thermal catalytic propulsion systems operating using Hydrazine. Fakel has a production experience in serial and mass delivery of thrusters both in commercial and state market segments. The share of the thrusters production in the world for spacecraft is about 10%. More than 70 Russian spacecraft (more than 60% of the Russian orbital constellation) and 30 Western spacecraft are equipped with thrusters developed and produced by EDB Fakel. Today EDB Fakel’s partners are ISS Reshetnev, RSC Energia, Khrunichev State Research and Production Center, Lavochkin Research and Production Association, Research and Production Corporation VNIIEM, Maxar (Canada), Airbus, TAS (France), MELСO (Japan), IAI (Israel), OHB (Sweden).
ROSCOSMOS is the state corporation established in August 2015 for a comprehensive reform of the rocket and space industry of Russia. ROSCOSMOS ensures performance of the state policy in space industry and normative regulation. ROSCOSMOS also places orders for development, production and delivery of space hardware and space infrastructural objects. Also, one of its functions is to develop international co-operation in space industry and provide conditions to use the results of the space activities for a social and economic progress of Russia.
Pictures taken from the official website of ROSCOSMOS