Angola’s second satellite, AngoSat-2, a replacement for the inactive AngoSat-1, is 50 per cent completed, according to a statement by the country’s Minister for Telecommunications, José Carvalho da Rocha.
The satellite project is partly funded and built by Russia, with a payload constructed by French satellite manufacturing company, Airbus. It will be completed this year and launched in Kazakhastan by Russia in 2022, after a series of tests.
Most of the cost of the satellite is covered by a USD 121-million insurance payout from the lost AngoSat-1, while the rest will be paid by the Russian government, which will also procure the mission’s launch service.
According to the Minister, AngosAt-2’s construction is under the complementary protocol between Angola and Russia, enacted in the Angosat-1 contract.
For the meantime, Russia is providing C-band analogous frequency resources to Angola until the completion of the AngoSat-2 project. The service is provided by the Russian satellite AM7, operated by RSCC, the public operator Russian communications satellite. The other signal, in KU-band, is provided by the European satellite Eutelsat 3B.
Angosat-1, a communication satellite, was designed and developed by the Russian firm, RKK Energia.
After a protracted launch date, the satellite reached its launch pad and was delivered in orbit by a Zenit rocket on December 26, 2017. Although the launch vehicle performed by the book, the satellite exhibited fatal problems with its power supply system practically immediately after entering autonomous flight, resulting in the loss of communications with the spacecraft.
Despite all the hopes to restore communications, on April 23, 2018, the Angolan government officially declared the satellite a total loss. A day earlier, de Rocha told the Jornal de Angola newspaper that his government had accepted a proposal from Roskosmos to built a replacement spacecraft for Angosat-1. The Russian side reportedly promised that the construction of the Angosat-2 satellite would take no longer than 18 months and the replacement vehicle would have better technical capabilities than its predecessor.
Ogechi Onuoha is a Cambridge Certified ESOL editor with a background in reporting, international relations, creative writing and adept in industry research and analysis. She is passionate about curating and evaluating the benefits/relevance of space to grassroots development and women’s participation in the space sector.