Today, on 25 December 2015, a Proton-M  launch vehicle carrying a Russian communications satellite Express-AMU1 lifted off from Baikonur at 00:31 Moscow Time. This was the eighth and final space launch in 2015 using the heavy-lift Russian-made Proton.

The launch and flight of the launch vehicle proceeded nominally. At the design time, the orbital block comprising the Express-AMU1 SC and Breeze-M upper stage separated from the  Proton’s Stage III and continued the mission in the autonomous mode. Subsequently, the spacecraft was injected in its target orbit using the Breeze-M Upper Stage main engine.

Separation of the spacecraft from the upper stage occurred at 25 December at 9 hours and 12 minutes after the liftoff.

The Express-AMU1 satellite was manufactured for RSCC, Russia’s leading operator of space communications satellites. The contract to build the satellite was signed with EADS Astrium, currently integrated with Airbus Defence and Space which is the defence/space arm of the Аirbus Group. The Express-AMU1 SC liftoff mass was approximately 5900 kg. For details, visit

The Proton rocket and the Breeze-M upper stage booster are produced by the Khrunichev Space Center.

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