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Angola in Space


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In 2017 Angola made public its long-term plan for its space program, which envisaged a steady expansion in the coming years. In Africa, Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia already had communication satellites.

Angolan Telecommunication Companies altogether spend monthly approximately over 30 million US dollars in renting satellite capacities. With the implementation of ANGOSAT-1 project, the construction and the launch of the first Angolan communication satellite, it will attempt to address some of the most challenging problems in communication access: prices, connecting Angolan cities and provinces across a large landmass, where copper or fiber telecommunication networks would be cost prohibitive.

The Angosat is the name of the first Angolan geostationary satellite that will provide opportunities to expand satellite communications services, internet access, radio, and television. The Angosat project is part of the National Space Program, in which one of its objectives is the creation of national competences in the field of satellite communications technologies.

The AngoSat-1 joint project commenced in 2009 and cost about $300m, according to Angola's government. The lifespan of AngoSat-1 is expected to be about 15 years, and Angola will be responsible for mission control during this period. The satellite will mean a lot more than just better reception for mobile phone users, officials say.

The Angosat is a draft presidential initiative, output resolution No. 2/06 of 11 January the Council of Ministers. The Angosat project is the result of a thorough study on the feasibility of production of an Angolan satellite, between the Interministerial Committee for Coordination General of Telecommunications Satellite Project of Multisectoral Support (CISAT), created by Presidential Order No. 21/06 of 21 June. The study included the Russian consortium, led by the company ROSOBONEXPORT, RSC Energia (construction of Angosat-1 satellite).

In 2009 they signed to the Agreement between the Government of Angola and the Russian Federation, represented by the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Angola and EUSF <>, respectively, for the construction, launch and operation of the satellite Angosat-1.

According to Jose Carvalho da Rocha, Angola's minister of telecommunications and information technologies, AngoSat-1 will play a crucial role in the proliferation of telemedicine, a way of providing clinical care from a distance using telecommunications. Telemedicine is especially important for places that are not located close to hospitals, or places that are hard to reach for medical professionals.

The Angosat-1 satellite has a modular structure divided into two main modules: a communication module or payload consisting of hardware and software that allow the execution of the mission, and a service module or universal platform, where the subsystems allow autonomous operation and control of the satellite. The Angosat, built in Russia, with 1,500 kilograms of which only 262.4 are payload, will be in the orbital position 14.5 E and will have a power of 3,753 W in the CKu band with 16C + 6Ku repeaters.

With the orbital position 13º E operation, the Angosat-1 satellite will cover the whole territory of Angola, Africa and parts of Europe, providing telecommunications services with 16 transponders in C-band and 6 Ku-band transponders. Angosat1's control and mission center is located in the municipality of Funda, northern Luanda province. The Angolan satellite had a primary control and mission center in Angola and a secondary center in Russia in Korolev.

The Angosat-1 system consists of two segments: A Space Segment , consists of a satellite the Angosat-1, also known as spacecraft located about 36,000 km, and SegmentoTerrestre also known as (Control MCC-Center and Mission) , which is the monitoring station and ground control and aims to monitor, correct, and ensure the smooth operation of Angosat-1 system. With the materialization of Angosat-1, Angola is a country with space infrastructure, with national scientific and technological skills, will provide improvements in telecommunications services, particularly connecting people living in remote areas.

The Russian space agency said it lost contact with an Angolan telecommunications satellite launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Roskosmos said that the launch on 27 December 2017 was successful but that ground control stopped receiving telemetric data from the satellite shortly after it entered orbit. In a brief statement, it said officials were trying to restore contact with Angosat-1, the African country's first telecoms satellite. The satellite was launched late on December 26 from the Russian-leased facility in Kazakhstan and separated from its booster rocket early on December 27.

The Zenit-2SB carrier rocket with the Fregat booster and Angola’s AngoSat satellite blasted off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan at 22:00 Moscow time (19:00 GMT) on December 26. The Fregat booster and AngoSat separated from the second stage of the carrier rocket eight minutes after the launch. The satellite separated from the booster at 06:54 Moscow time (03:54 GMT) on December 27. After that, the satellite started to move as planned and provide telemetry data, but when its solar batteries began to unfold, telemetry data stopped coming.

Another failed launch would be a new blow to Moscow's space program on the heels of the unsuccessful launch of a satellite from Russia's new Vostochny facility in Siberia on November 28. Vostochny, in the Amur region near the Chinese border, is intended to reduce Russia's dependence on Baikonur. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on December 27 told the Rossia 24 state TV channel that the November 28 failure had been caused by human error.

He said the rocket carrying the satellites had been programmed with the wrong coordinates, mistakenly having been given bearings for takeoff from Baikonur and not the actual one at Vostochny. "The rocket was really programmed as if it was taking off from Baikonur," Rogozin said. "They didn't get the coordinates right." The project has been dogged by reports of corruption, and one of the satellites put into orbit in its first launch, in April 2016, stopped functioning soon after it entered orbit.

Specialists have restored communication with Angola’s AngoSat satellite, which was launched from the Baikonur spaceport on December 26 and obtained telemetric data from it, a source in the rocket and space industry told TASS on 28 December 2017. "Specialists have been able to restore communication with the AngoSat satellite and obtain telemetric data from it," the source said. Contact with AngoSat could have been lost because of the discharged accumulators, and the electric power was restored due to the unfolded solar batteries.

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