Ekspress MD1


Ekspress MD1 (Экспресс МД1)
Mission typeCommunication
COSPAR ID2009-007B[1]
SATCAT no.33596
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftEkspress MD1
Spacecraft typeEkspress MD
ManufacturerKhrunichev bus
Thales Alenia Space payload
Launch mass1,140 kg (2,510 lb)
Power1300 W
Start of mission
Launch date00:03:00, February 10, 2009 (UTC) (2009-02-10T00:03:00Z)
Launch siteBaikonur Site 200/39
End of mission
Last contactJuly 4, 2013
Orbital parameters
Band8 × 40 Mhz C band
1 × 0.5 Mhz L band[3]
Bandwidth321 MHz
← Ekspress AM44

Ekspress MD1 (Russian: Экспресс МД1), was a geostationary communications satellite operated by RSCC and designed and manufactured by Khrunichev on the Yakhta platform for RSCC's Ekspress series. It massed 1,140 kg (2,510 lb) at launch, had a power production capacity of 1300 W with a C band and L band payload.[4][1]

It was successfully launched along Ekspress AM4 aboard a Proton-M/Briz-M from Baikonur on February 2, 2009.[5] It was commissioned in the 80°East slot. The satellite failed on July 4, 2013, well short of its design life, for which RSCC collected the insurance.[1][6]

Satellite description

Ekspress MD1 was a geostationary communications satellite developed by Khrunichev on the Yakhta platform. It is a small, three axis stabilized, platform designed for direct geostationary orbit and as such it lacked an apogee kick motor. It was designed to support a bigger, heavier satellite on top of it and serve as its rocket adapter. For its companion, Ekspress AM4, it was specially reinforced to carry the 2,560 kg (5,640 lb) on top.[4]

The satellite weighted 1,140 kg (2,510 lb) at launch, had a power production capacity of 1300 W with a design life of 10 years.[4][1] Its payload was made by Thales Alenia Space and was composed of 8 × 40 MHz C band and 1 × 1 MHz L band transponders, for a total satellite bandwidth of 321 MHz for mass of 225 kg (496 lb).[4][3] It was designed to provide mobile presidential and governmental communications, digital TV and Radio broadcasting services, Internet access, data transfer, video conferencing in Russia and Asia from the 80° East orbital slot.[1][4]

Ekspress MD1 was heavily based on the KazSat-1. While smaller than the other satellites of the Ekspress constellation, it enabled RSCC to have a second local supplier after its traditional contractor ISS Reshetnev. The structure was designed around a cylindrical structure that enabled stacking of another satellite on top of the Ekspress MD1 and acted as an adaptor to the Briz-M stage for both spacecraft.[7]

While successfully commissioned, it failed to reach even half of its design life.[1] It had a twin satellite, Ekspress MD2 which failed to reach orbit.[7] As of 2016, RSCC has not ordered any further satellite from Khrunichev, relying instead on foreign suppliers like Airbus Defence and Space.[5]


Within the Russian Federal Space Program for 2006-2015, RSCC awarded on 2006 a contract for two satellites, Ekspress MD1 and Ekspress MD2 to Khrunichev.[2][3] It also signed a separate contract with Alcatel Alenia Space for the supply of the payloads. The twin spacecraft would be based on the Yakhta platform and the lessons from the KazSat-1 satellite.[2]

On April 2007, RSCC Acting Director General Yuri Izmailov stated that Ekspress MD1 and Ekspress AM4 were the company to priority and would launch by December 2007.[8] In an April 29, 2008 interview, Mr Izmailov stated that the Ekspress MD1 was expected to fly in 2008.[9]

On September 10, 2008, Khrunichev stated that the satellite production was in full swing. The solutions from the lessons learned from the anomalies of KazSat-1 and Monitor-E had been implemented. And the satellite had gone through electrical testing and was going into acceptance testing.[10]

On January 26, 2009, the assembly of the integration of the spacecraft with Ekspress AM4 and the Briz-M stage was started at the Baikonur launch site.[11] On February 6, the Proton-M/Briz-M stack was certified for roll out to the Site 200/39 launch pad.[12] On February 11, at 00:03 UTC, the rocket successfully launched both spacecraft directly to geostationary orbit.[3]

On May 12, Ekspress MD1 was successfully commissioned into service in the Ekspress constellation.[13] On the same year, the satellite was used for the first distribution of the multiplex programs compulsory under the Federal Target Program Development of TV & Radio broadcasting in the Russian Federation for 2009 – 2015.[14]

On July 4, 2013 Ekspress MD1 failed on orbit. At just 4 years, 4 months, 23 days, it failed to achieve even half of its design life.[1] In February 2014, RSCC was able to collect the 857 million rubles insurance payment on the failed satellite.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Ekspress MD1". Satbeams. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Krebs, Gunter Dirk (2016-04-17). "Ekspress-MD 1, 2". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
  3. ^ a b c d "Proton Successfully Delivers Two New Russian Express-series Satellites into Orbit". Khrunichev. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Космический аппарат "Экспресс-МД-1"" [Spacecraft "Express MD-1"] (in Russian). Khrunichev. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  5. ^ a b Pillet, Nicolas. "Ekspress Liste des satellites" [List of Ekspress satellites]. Kosmonavtika (in French). Retrieved 2016-07-25.
  6. ^ a b "RSCC to receive insurance compensation for loss of Express MD1 small satellite". RSCC. 2014-02-13. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  7. ^ a b Zak, Anatoly (March 16, 2014). "Ekspress MD communication satellite". Russian Space Web. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  8. ^ "On April 4–5 the 12th annual conference of operators and users of the Russian Federation satellite telecommunications network took place in Dubna". RSCC. 2007-04-17. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  9. ^ "Interview with Yuri Izmaylov, Director General and CEO, RSCC. APSCC newsletter, April 2008". RSCC. 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  10. ^ "Work on Express-MD1 in Full Swing". Khrunichev. 2008-09-10. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  11. ^ "Assembly of Proton Breeze M Space Head Unit Begins". Khrunichev. 2009-01-26. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  12. ^ "Proton Certified Ready for Rollout to Its Launch Pad". Khrunichev. 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  13. ^ "Express MD1 Satellite Put Into Operation within RSCC's Constellation". Khrunichev. 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  14. ^ "First multiplex program distribution to Siberia and the Far East started by RSCC". RSCC. 2009. Retrieved 2016-08-02.

External links

  • Khrunichev Ekspress MD1 page