Contact lost with Angosat-1, manufacturer says


GLASSBORO, New Jersey — RSC Energia of Moscow said Dec. 27 that the satellite it built for Angola has stopped sending telemetry data after separating from the rocket upper stage that took it to geostationary transfer orbit.

In a Russian-language press release on the company website, Energia said the Angosat-1 telecommunications satellite initially established contact, but then ceased to continue communicating with ground teams.

Angosat-1 launched Dec. 26 on a roughly nine-hour Zenit mission from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The satellite was on the way to its 13 degrees East orbital location using onboard propulsion when telemetry was lost.

Energia said the company is working to restore communications with the satellite.

Russian satellite manufacturers build numerous spacecraft domestically, but have infrequent exports. Israeli satellite operator Spaceom’s Amos-5 satellite was built by Russian manufacturer ISS Reshetnev, but ceased communication in 2015 just two years after launch due to a power failure.

Angosat-1 is Angola’s first satellite, and supports 16 C-band transponders and six Ku-band transponders. Like most geostationary telecom spacecraft, it has a design life of 15 years.