AngoSat 1 was a geostationary communications satellite operated by Angosat and built by the Russian company RSC Energia. It was the first communications satellite of Angola, designed for a 15-year mission to deliver television, Internet, and radio services to Angola and other territories. The satellite suffered a power problem in the first hours of flight, and was declared lost after repeated failures to establish contact. Russia will build a replacement satellite called AngoSat 2 to be delivered in late 2019.
|Launch mass||1,550 kg (3,420 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||26 December 2017, 19:00 UTC|
|Rocket||Zenit-3F / Fregat-SB|
|Launch site||Baikonur Site 45/1|
|End of mission|
|Last contact||29 December 2017|
|Longitude||Drifitng (13° E planned)|
|Frequency||44 equivalent Ku band and 16 trp C band|
The project was born out of a 2009 agreement between the governments of Angola and Russia, and work started in 2012. The spacecraft was originally supposed to be launched along the Energia 100 satellite on a Zenit-3SL with SeaLaunch in 2016, but political tensions following the annexation of Crimea and SeaLaunch legal issues made the use of the Ukrainian launcher uncertain. Consequently, the launch was first moved to an Angara A5 / Blok DM-03 configuration, and finally back to a Zenit-3F version which was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on 26 December 2017, 19:00 UTC. The satellite was financed by Rosoboronexport with a 286.2 million euro loan.
AngoSat 1 is based on RKK Energiya's USP Bus of Gazprom Space Systems' Yamal-heritage. Airbus Defence & Space (formerly Astrium) provides the payload. The satellite is designed for direct insertion into the geostationary orbit by the launch vehicle upper stage and therefore does not feature an apogee engine. The AngoSat 1 payload is composed of 16 C band and 6 Ku band transponders supplied by Airbus Defense and Space.
Demise and replacementEdit
On December 26, RCS Energia announced contact with AngoSat 1 was lost while the satellite was moving to its geostationary orbit due to low onboard batteries. On December 27, communications had been restored with the satellite after the satellite was properly aligned with the sun to allow the onboard batteries to recharge, but it is unclear whether the satellite could fully recover its operability. On December 29, Roscosmos and satellite manufacturer Energia confirmed that its onboard systems were in good health.
In the days after the contact was regained with AngoSat-1, the satellite continued drifting westward, according to NORAD data. But independent observers became alarmed, when by mid January, the Angosat had passed over its operational point without any visible attempt to slow down and stop its drift. RSC Energia issued a press release on January 15, 2018, disclosing that the telemetry from the satellite had allowed to reveal a problem in the Angosat's power supply system. The company stated that the spacecraft would leave the range of ground control stations before any additional troubleshooting tasks can be attempted. Since the satellite left the communications range of the mission control center in Korolev, the next attempt to contact the satellite and correct the problem was attempted in April 2018. The satellite failed to respond to signals, and was considered lost.
The Russian government and RSC Energia have agreed to finance and provide a replacement satellite called AngoSat 2, with upgraded capabilities. The new satellite is expected to be completed within 18 months and delivered towards the end of 2019. In the meantime, Russia will loan Angola equivalent communications relay capacity on its existing satellite fleet.
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