Russia loses contact with Angola's first satellite, AngoSat-1. UPDATE.

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1. What happened?

RSC Energia (Moscow) announced on December 27, 2017, that the telecommunications satellite AngoSat-1, built for Angola, stopped sending telemetry short after separation from the rocket that took it to geostationary transfer orbit.

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2. Context...

The AngoSat-1 is an Angolian satellite that was launched December 26, 2017, on a 9-hour Zenit mission from the Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. AngoSat-1 is a geostationary communications satellite operated by Angosat and built by the Russian company RSC Energia. It is the first communications satellite of Angola.

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3. More details...

The AngoSat-1 was going to its 13-degrees East orbital location by using its propulsion when contact was lost. The satellite supported 16 C-band and 6 Ku-band transporters and was designed to live 15 years in space (like any other geostationary telecom spacecraft). Angosat-1 will be providing coverage over all of Africa and parts of Europe.

4. Has this happened before?

Russian manufacturers of satellites have built numerous spacecraft domestically, but don’t have many 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.

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5. UPDATE.

The morning of December 29, 2017,  Energia and Roscosmos confirmed that the satellite is sending telemetry and that the onboard systems are in good health. The Angolan National Office for Space Affairs, or GGPEN (Gabinete de Gestão do Programa Espacial Nacional), said (in a Portuguese-language website update) that the satellite regained contact at 9:00 a.m. Eastern (3:00 p.m. local time in Angola) on Dec. 28, one day after the glitch.

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