Russians Lose Contact With Newly Launched Satellite

UPDATE: TASS reports that controllers have re-established contact with the spacecraft and are receiving telemetry. The report offers no further details at this time.

Russian officials say they have lost contact with the Angosat-1 communications satellite, which was launched from the Baikonur  Cosmodrome on Tuesday aboard a Zenit 2SB booster.

“Contact has temporarily been lost,” the source told AFP, adding specialists were now looking into the matter.

The source said officials had stopped receiving “telemetry data” but called it a “rather common situation” and expressed the hope that contact would be re-established.

The reason for the loss of contact was not immediately clear.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos said the Zenit booster performed as planned, deploying Angola’s first communications satellite into its intended orbit. Contact was lost after the spacecraft separated from the booster’s upper stage.

The spacecraft is a joint $280 million project between Angola and Russia that was funded with credit from Russian banks. The spacecraft was built by Russia’s RSC Energia. Fifty Angolans were trained to operate and maintain Angosat-1 from a control center outside Luanda.

  • Pete Zaitcev

    1) Link is broken
    2) Quote is selected to present the narrative that “officials” tried to cover-up the loss of the spacecrat, whereas every other source says that the loss is likely permanent – there’s no cover-up
    3) Energia manages to build all those EKSen with no issue, but not a comsat – looks like having enough power onboard for all those transponders is not a trivial task. ISS Reshetnev peeps are laughing themselves silly at this point, I suspect.

  • SamuelRoman13

    This sat. did not have a kick motor. That may be why it only weighs 3000lbs. The 3rd stage put it into orbit. Gaz Prom has some of these com sat. Not many transponders.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    The gang that can’t shoot straight…

  • Congrats to the team for getting the bird back online!

  • mlc449

    Ol’ crazy Ivan.

  • Pete Zaitcev

    Quite so. Apparently the capacity of the batteries was not planned correctly, so the deployment activities drained them and the bus lost the power. Fortunately, at that time the solar arrays were (just) deployed and the orientation established earlier. The sunlight recharged the batteries and the sat came back online after a couple of days.