Notification for Express-AM11 satellite users in connection with the spacecraft failure


Dear colleagues,

On March 29, 2006 at 3:41 a.m. (Moscow time) due to a sudden external impact the Express-AM11 satellite (96.5 East) experienced failure. According to preliminary findings of NPO-PM satellite manufacturer the telemetry information showed, that failure had been caused by a sudden external impact on the spacecraft resulting in an instantaneous depressurization of the thermal control system fluid circuit followed by a sudden outburst of the heat-carrying agent. Due to the external impact and outburst of the heat-carrying agent from the thermal control system a significant disturbing moment was generated followed by the spacecraft orientation loss and rotation. At present, provision of services via the Express-AM11 satellite is impossible and a decision to terminate its operation was taken.

In order to secure the continuity of networks pointed to 96.5 East, the satellite broadcasting networks were set to the backup space capacities of the Express-AM2 (80 East), the Express-A No.2 (103 East) and the Express-AM3 (140 East) satellites.

On-line setting to backup capacities was performed based on the schedule developed together with technical services of your organization. Spare capacities allowed the communications channels to be transferred mainly with maintaining frequency plans and without retuning ground stations and only with re-pointing the antennas to other spacecraft.

Taking into account the current situation and force-major circumstances we request you to pay the services provided via the Express-AM11 satellite (96.5 East) till March 31st inclusive with subsequent re-calculation of the service cost in April 2006.

RSCC expresses its appreciation to you and your staff for a joint operative solution of technical problems and understanding of the situation arisen.

We are looking forward to further mutually beneficial cooperation,

Yury Izmailov,

Acting Director General

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.