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Russian Space Agency Says Contact Regained With Angolan Satellite


Angosat-1 sits atop a Zenit rocket on its launchpad prior to liftoff.

The Russian space agency says it has regained communications with an Angolan telecommunications satellite launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

A representative of Roskosmos told the Interfax news agency on December 28 that "telemetric data is being received again" and that the satellite had reached its orbit and was circling the Earth.

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.

Roskosmos said, however, that ground control stopped receiving telemetric data from Angosat-1, the African country's first telecoms satellite, shortly after it entered orbit.

State-run TASS news agency quoted a source at the space agency as saying communications was restored after the satellite was aligned with the sun and its solar batteries unfolded, allowing it to gradually restore energy in the craft's electric system.

When fully deployed, Angosat is expected to transmit television signals and provide other telecommunications services to Angola and other countries in southern Africa.

Based on reporting by dpa, Interfax, AFP, and TASS
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