The Russian space agency said that Angola’s first national telecommunication satellite, AngoSat-1, was inoperative and Russia is planning to build another one in the year 2020. The AngoSat-1, launched in December from the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the satellite has been afflicted by problems which include the loss of communications and now regarded as a write-off.
During the official conference with regards to the issue, the Angolan officials told the news about the construction of the AngoSat. Igor Frolov, the representative for Energia, a unit of the Russian space agency, said that construction of the satellite would be announced soon. The written-off Angola satellite was insured, and Russia will pay for the rest of the undisclosed costs for the second Angolan satellite.
With Angola’s first satellite premature death, the country has lost its very first telecom satellite which was then expected to work for 15 years as its working lifespan. The Angolan satellite which was made by Russia struggled with the repeated setbacks after its launch from the space center in Kazakhstan. The contact with the satellite was then lost and never recovered despite the many attempts.
The representative of Energia also said that the satellite remained in orbit from December 26 to 30 after the actual problem occurred. Minister Jose Carvalho da Rocha immediately announced that the satellite would be replaced by its successor – the AngoSat-2, which is under a new agreement with Russia. Building the new satellite will not cost to Angola, and the said satellite will be more sophisticated and has more capacity unlike the previous one.
The AngoSat project was founded by Angola and Russia in 2009 which includes the center in a suburb of the Angolan capital, Luanda. The written-off AngoSat-1 was intended to improve the satellite communication, broadcasting of radio and television across Africa and to improve the internet access. Angola draws its large revenue from most of its oil reserves, but the country suffers extreme inequality with Unicef which calculates 38% of the country’s population to be living in poverty.
Angola has accepted the offer of Russia to build its second satellite, the AngoSat-2. The construction of the new satellite will take less than 18 months which is said to be of better technical capabilities when compared to the lost AngoSat-1 satellite. The minister of Angola also confirmed that the payment for the new satellite would come from the insurance for the lost AngoSat-1 satellite. The overall sum of the new satellite amounts to $320 million.