Russia loses contact with Angolan satellite


Russia has lost contact with Angola's first national telecoms satellite launched from the Baikonur space pad, a source in the space industry told reporters on Wednesday.

The incident involving the Russian-made Angosat-1 is a new embarrassment for the country's once proud space industry after Russia in November lost contact with a weather satellite after it was launched from a new cosmodrome in the country's Far East.

"Contact has temporarily been lost," the source told reporters, adding that specialists were now looking into the matter.

The reason for the loss of contact was not immediately clear. Earlier Wednesday the Russian space agency Roscosmos said that the satellite had been successfully launched and reached orbit.

The Angosat project was agreed by Russia and Angola in 2009 and includes the satellite, its launch, and on-ground infrastructure in a suburb of the capital Luanda.

The approximately 280 million US dollars project has been financed with a credit from Russia's state banks.

The satellite was designed for a 15-year mission to boost satellite communications, Internet access and radio and TV service.