Gazprom launches Russia’s most powerful satellite for internet and data services

31 May 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Russia now has its most powerful telecoms satellite after last night’s launch of the Yamal-601 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The French-built telecoms satellite, from Thales Alenia, will provide high-speed internet, fixed-line and data communications services across Russia, Europe, the Middle East and south-east Asia.

Gazprom Space Systems, a division of the oil and gas company, will operate the satellite, which replaces the Yamal-202 at an orbital position of 49° east above the equator.

Aleksei Varochko, director general of the Khrunichev Space Centre, said: “The launch of the Yamal-601 satellite exemplifies yet another constructive result of our cooperation with Gazprom Space Systems. We are prepared to launch additional spacecraft using Proton and Angara rockets to expand satellite communication in Russia. We plan on launching at least five more Proton rockets with federal and commercial payloads this year.”

Gazprom Space Systems develops and operates telecommunication and geo-information space systems for the Gazprom group and other consumers. The company created and operates the Yamal satellite communication and broadcasting system as part of a satellite constellation with a wide service area and a comprehensive ground infrastructure.