After a one day delay due to high upper level winds, a Proton M Breeze M launch vehicle was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan at 2131 GMT on 24 December 2015.  The launch successfully placed the Express AMU-1 communications satellite in orbit for the Russian Satellite Communications Company.  Built by Airbus Defence and Space using its Eurostar E3000 bus design, the 5.900kg satellite,e which is also known as Eutelsat 36C  will be operating a 70 transponder communications payload over the longitude of 36 degrees in the geostationary arc to provide Russian broadcast services in the European part of the Russian Federation in Ku and Ka bands and broadcast services for Eutelsat in sub-Saharan Africa. The multibeam Ka-band antennas feature a highly innovative array fed reflector antenna design developed by Astrium (now Airbus). Express-AMU1/Eutelsat 36C has a minimum design lifetime of 15 years in orbit.

Proton M launches Express AMU-1. Courtesy: Roscosmos

Proton M launches Express AMU-1. Courtesy: Roscosmos