Lost communications with the satellite "Angosat", which for the first time was preparing to launch as operator the private Russian company - S7 Space. RSC Energia reports that work is underway to resume communications. The corporation is reminded that earlier similar situations have already happened.
Launch of the satellite to the geostationary orbit was conducted on December 26 from the Baikonur cosmodrome with the Zenit-2SB carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage. The spacecraft has successfully entered a given orbit, according to Roskosmos. However, later in the media there were reports that the signal was lost when the solar panels were opened, and the message "Energy" confirmed this information.
Discussion of the perpetrators does not make sense, as there are chances for the restoration of the satellite's work. Similar cases of communication loss were, for example, with the Foton-M spacecraft (2014), NASA STEREO-9 satellite, KazSat-3 Kazakhstan and other devices. In some cases it was possible to restore communication within a day.
The "Angosat" satellite was created by RSC Energia from the components of Airbus Defense and Space. It has a mass of 1550 kg and is intended for broadcasting in the C- and Ku- bands to the territory of the Republic of Angola, as well as neighboring countries of the African continent. The project "Angosat" included the creation of a satellite-transponder, its output to the geostationary orbit and the creation of a ground infrastructure for communication and broadcasting. According to TASS, the satellite was insured in equal shares by $ 121 million by SOGAZ and VTB Insurance.
Despite the fact that material damage will be compensated by insurance companies, in case of failure, Russia will once again undermine its credibility as a partner in space launches. In 2016, the launch of Proton rocket launchers was postponed for a year in connection with the detected violations in the manufacturing process. In November 2017, the launch of the Soyuz rocket with Meteor meteorological satellite and several probes, which was conducted from the Vostochny space center, ended in failure. One of the versions of the failure was the abnormal operation of the Fregat upper stage, but the final version was the uncoordinated work of the software used. In addition, the launch and launching of the "Angosat" into the orbit was correct, according to Roskosmos.
This launch was the first in Russia when using a private operator. S7 Space prepared the integration of the "Angosat" satellite with the space rocket complex for RSC Energia. At the same time, the Zenit launch vehicle was used, which in the future is planned to be used for launches from a floating spaceport in the Sea Launch project. Negative experience can reduce interest in the company in the market.
In 2016, S7 Group announced the signing of a contract with a group of companies Sea Launch, providing for the purchase of the property complex "Sea Launch". The subject of the transaction is Sea Launch Commander, Odyssey platform with rocket segment equipment installed on them, ground equipment in the base port of Long Beach (USA) and intellectual rights belonging to Sea Launch, including the trademark. The company plans to commit up to 70 commercial launches within 15 years.
In early 2017, "S7 CTS" (S7 Space) was licensed to carry out space activities in the Russian Federation. It allows the company to participate in international projects for the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. In particular, it allows using the Baikonur cosmodrome. In the future we plan to launch from the floating Odyssey space center, but at the moment the company has not yet received permission to operate it.
S7 Space (LLC "C 7 Space Transportation Systems") is a member of the largest private aviation and space holding company in Russia, the S7 Group, which unites companies operating in the field of air transportation, maintenance, as well as in the use of outer space.