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Kremlin orders probe into why Russia's space industry is failing

Kremlin orders probe into why Russia's space industry is failing

A Russian weather satellite and almost 20 micro-satellites from other nations were lost following a failed launch from Russia's new cosmodrome in the Far East on November 28.

The Angolan satellite, Angosat-1, last Friday re-established communication with the earth station, hours after it lost contact following its launch into orbit last Tuesday evening, in Kazakhstan, in the ambit of a project developed by a Russian company.

The spacecraft was launched on December 26 by the Zenit-2SB space rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome. The NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X satellites were launched into orbit aboard a Russian Dnepr rocket from Yasny, southern Russia.

The satellite established contact with ground controllers as expected after it separated from its rocket, but officials said they soon lost communications with Angosat 1.

The launching of the Angosat-1 stimulated a wave of speculative comments in Angola and overseas, after it was announced that the earth station lost the communication signal with the satellite after it entered into orbit.

"Specialists of Energia rocket and space corporation have received telemetry information from Angosat", Energia said in a statement.

The satellite carries 16 C-band and six Ku-band transponders, and its communications payload was supplied by Airbus Defense and Space. The Angosat project envisages the creation of a communication satellite with a repeater, its launch into a geostationary orbit and the creation of a ground communications and television broadcasting infrastructure.

Russian engineers also helped construct and activate a satellite control center near the Angolan capital of Luanda on the southwest coast of Africa, where officials will oversee Angosat 1 operations.

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