From Khrunichev Press Release


BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan,  Jan, 23, 2009 — At the Baikonur Cosmodrome,  preparations continue for the dual launch of the Express-MD1 and the Express-AM44 satellites. Express-MD1 was built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center; the bus for Express-AM44 was manufactured by Information Satellite Systems –Reshetnev Company. Both communication satellite payloads were provided by Thales Alenia Space.

Currently, the mission’s Breeze-M has been transported to building 92-A50 for fueling and testing. Concurrently, Express-MD1 is also being fueled. In the next few days, KhSC will begin work on the assembly of the payload fairing for the Proton M.

The dual launch is scheduled for February 2009. Both satellites will be inserted into a geostationary orbit.

Note:  The added capability of the enhanced Proton Breeze M scheduled for the dual Express mission in February 2009 will be used on a future ILS commercial mission.

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