Russia’s Yamal-201 satellite’s problems

Yamal-201, a satellite serving Russia and owned by Gazprom Satellite Systems, has suffered technical problems. Some reports say it has failed completely.  Reportedly its transponders were switched off on June 5, and its broadcasting clients switched to other satellites in particular the Yamal-300 craft which is co-located with Yamal-201.

Yamal-201 operated from the 90 deg East orbital position, and was launched in November 2003, and should have been good for around 2 more years. It had 9 C-band transponders and 6 in Ku-band.

Gazprom has already announced a replacement craft (Yamal-401) but its planning has been much postponed. Originally 401 was to have been built by Thales Alenia Space and launched back in 2011, but subsequent changes in plan reduced the contract with Thales Alenia just supplying the payload.

The latest information is that 401 will be launched this coming August aboard a Proton/Briz-M rocket combination from Kazakhstan.

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