Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Launches Its Most Powerful Telecom Satellite

SC "Yuzhny" / Roscosmos

Russia has launched a powerful European-made communications satellite for the state energy giant Gazprom from Kazakhstan.

Gazprom's space subsidiary, Gazprom Space Systems, runs Yamal satellites to broadcast to customers in Russia, western and central Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. France’s Thales Alenia Space company manufactures the satellites for Gazprom.

The Yamal-601 satellite launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and was sent into orbit after a nine-hour flight, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said on Thursday.

Yamal-601 replaces the Yamal-202 satellite, providing new capabilities including satellite broadband and expanded coverage. The satellite is the most powerful communications satellite in Russia's orbital fleet and has a shelf life of 15 years, Interfax reported.

Five additional Proton-M rocket launches are planned in 2019. Dogged by a string of failures and quality control concerns in 2006-2015, Protons will be phased out and replaced by Angara rockets over the next decade.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.