On Wednesday, it became known that the launch of the first Angolan telecommunications satellite Angosat-1 failed. The spacecraft was delivered by a bundle from the Zenit-2SB rocket and the Fregat-SB upper stage to the target orbit, but, according to Kommersant's information, due to a possible failure in the satellite power distribution unit, it was not possible to establish communication with it. A more precise version will be established by the special commission. The consequences of the second space failure for the last month the industry will feel on itself in 2018. For the first accident that happened in November with the satellite "Meteor" at the launch from the Vostochny cosmodrome, the directors of five enterprises on Wednesday received reprimands, the same punishment befell the two functionaries of the state corporation Roskosmos.
The Zenit-2SB booster together with the Fregat-SB upper stage and the Angosat-1 telecommunications satellite were launched into orbit from the 45th site of the Baikonur cosmodrome on December 26 at 22:00 Moscow time. Initially, everything happened normally: after eight minutes, the bunch from the "accelerator" and the satellite separated from the rocket, then the "Fregat-SB" in the planned mode carried out three inclusions of marching engines, taking Angosat-1 to a specified point in the geostationary orbit. At 6:54 Moscow time, the device separated from the unit, after which the Mission Control Center Energia (satellite manufacturer) took the satellite to control. According to "Kommersant", after 42 minutes the device ceased to communicate. The specialists of Energia tried all day to contact the satellite, but by the time they handed over the numbers to the press, their attempts at success had not resulted. Kommersant corporation informed that they analyze the available telemetry to eliminate the contingency situation, recalling in passing that such cases occurred in 2014 with Foton-M satellites, in 2016 with STEREO-9 and in 2017 with the Kazakh the KazSat communication satellite.
According to a source from Kommersant in the leadership of Roskosmos, in the near future a special commission will be set up to investigate the incident, which will determine the exact cause of the de facto loss of the apparatus. According to Interfax, communication could be interrupted due to a failure of the transmitter, digital computer or battery failure. A source of Kommersant in the state corporation said that the priority version of the emergency is a failure in the power distribution unit. "The solar panels opened as expected, it showed an analysis of the existing telemetry, then the connection was interrupted at once," he said. In the "Roskosmos" on Wednesday the situation was not commented.
The story with Angosat-1 began almost nine years ago, when a framework contract was signed between Russia and Angola for the creation and launch of the first broadcasting satellite for the North African republic. In 2011, Vnesheconombank, VTB Bank and Roseximbank provided loans to the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Angola for a total of approximately $ 280 million for a period of up to 13 years. The works themselves started in 2012, and technical problems began almost immediately. Against this background, the leapfrog with a choice of a rocket for launching a satellite was constantly happening: initially it was to be delivered to orbit using a Zenit-3SL rocket in 2016. But due to the bankruptcy of Sea Launch (Sea Launch), and also because of problems with the delivery of the carrier rocket by the Ukrainian company Yuzhmash, the launch site was chosen by the Plesetsk space center, and the launch was decided with the help of the Angara- A5 "and the upper stage DM-03. "Angara" was not ready, and the parties returned to "Zenith". After the sale of Sea Launch to the Russian company S7, the parties decided to use the Zenit-2SB missile to deliver into orbit, which was intended to launch another satellite, Spectrum-RG. Start-up on Wednesday was carried out both by specialists from the Ukrainian Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, and by S7 and Energia specialists. There are no complaints about the missile and the "disperser", says the source of Kommersant in Roskosmos: "The problems were hidden in the apparatus itself, the other is not given."
According to a source from Kommersant in the government, the project with Angola was quite important for the Russian Federation: on the background of the successful implementation of contracts for military-technical cooperation (albeit late, delivery of Su-30K fighters and armored cars began) and in the space sphere. Angosat-1 was intended to provide television and radio broadcasting in Africa, and the terms of the contract meant not only the creation of a satellite, but also control complexes for its flights in Luanda and the Queen. The device itself was insured in the companies "Sogaz" and "VTB Insurance" for $ 121 million in the proportion of 50 to 50.
Formally, Roskosmos had no relation to this project, the industry source said: Angosat-1 agreements were reached under Vitalie Lopote, the previous head of Energy, and the state corporation was connected to solve current problems. However, the very background is extremely unfavorable, Kommersant's source is convinced: against the backdrop of failure at the second launch of the Soyuz-2 rocket with the Meteor satellite from the cosmodrome Vostochny, the incident will be associated with Roskosmos. "The government demands taking tough measures both for industry professionals and for the functionaries of the state corporation, the specifics will be in the next year," he said.
Note that on Wednesday in Roskosmos reported that following the results of the "debriefing" of the emergency on the East, the following measures were taken. By reprimand will receive the executive director of Roskosmos on the means of launching and operating ground-based space infrastructure Andrei Mazurin and the director of the quality and reliability department of the state corporation Viktor Chaporgin. In addition to them, a similar measure will be applied to the general director of the Central Research Institute of Oil and Gas, Oleg Gorshkov, the general director of the Progress RCC, Alexander Kirilin, the head of the Lavochkin NGO Sergey Lemeshevsky, the general director of the SPC of Automation and Instrument Making, Yefim Mezhyritsky and the head of the VNIIEM corporation Leonid Makridenko.