Russia may launch Angolan satellite from Sea Launch pad in Dec 2019
24 April 2018

Russia may launch Angolan satellite from Sea Launch pad in Dec 2019

MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. Russian company S7 Space, which owns the Sea Launch maritime launching facility, is prepared to launch into space the Angolan telecommunications satellite Angosat-2, the company’s Director General, Sergei Sopov told TASS on Monday. S7 Space was the operator of the liftoff of Angosat-1 satellite that reached the orbit at the end of last December but lost communications with the ground control. The satellite was taken into orbit with the aid of Zenit-2SB launch vehicle from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan as part of the Ground Launch program. "We’ll do it if they ask us," Sopov said with reference to Angosat-2. The second Angolan telecom satellite might become the payload of the first launch that S7 Space would do from the floating maritime platform. "The payload for the first launch hasn’t been appointed yet and Angosat might be an option," Sopov said. Angosat-1 telecom satellite was launched on December 26, 2017, from the Baikonur space center on the territory of Kazakhstan with the aid of the Zenit-2SB launch vehicle and the Fregat booster. On December 27, after separating from the booster, the ground control center lost communications with the satellite. The ground control mission made the attempts to regain communications with the satellite through to mid-January 2018 when the latter left the zone of direct radio visibility from the Russian territory. A source in the Russian aerospace industry told TASS earlier on Monday Russia and Angola had signed a supplement to the agreement and were going to build Antosat-2 as a replacement for Angosat-1. He did not specify the details of the transaction, however. In the meantime, the Angolan news agency Angop quoted Jose Carvalho da Rocha said on Monday the Angolan government had recognized the dysfunctional character of Angosat-1. It recalled that the satellite was built in 2012 under a bilateral agreement signed in 2009. Angosat-1 cost $ 360 million but other sources posted the cost of $ 320 million. According to Jornal de Angola, construction of Angosat-2 is unlikely to take more than 18 months. Insurance indemnity for the lost satellite in the amount of $ 121 million will be incorporated in the payment for the second satellite. The Sea Launch is an international commercial project of a sea-based space launch platform. A company of the same name was set up for its implementation in 1995 by Boeing, the Russian aerospace corporation Energiya, the Norwegian shipbuilding company Kvaerne [currently Aker Solutions], Ukraine’s Southern Design Bureau and Yuzhmash Mechanical Engineering corporation. It announced bankruptcy in the summer of 2009 and after its reorganization in 2010, Energiya corporation took on the principal role in it. Reports said earlier this month said Energiya has completed the sale of its assets to S7 Group. The Sea Launch program has 36 launches on its record, of which 32 launches were successful. The previous successful one took place on May 27, 2014, when Eutelsat 3B satellite lifted off from the platform. Read more