Russian Express-AM4 satellite to crash into Pacific
The Russian Express-AM4 telecommunications satellite will drop into the Pacific Ocean next week, Dennis Pivnyuk, chief financial officer of the Russian Satellite Communications Co. said at the International Satellites-2012 Conference last Friday. The satellite will be guided into controlled descent starting March 20.
“We have decided to de-orbit it between March 20 and March 26,” Pivnyuk said. “While the satellite was not damaged during its launch, it has spent seven months in an orbit that exposed it to radiation and left it in a bad shape. We’ve been considering different plans to save the satellite but none was feasible.”
The failed launch took place on August 18, 2011, when a malfunction of the Briz-M upper-stage rocket reportedly caused Express-AM4 to miss its intended orbit.