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Russian space experts regain control of 1st Angola satellite

In this Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017 photo, a Russian Soyuz 2.1b rocket carrying the Meteor M satellite and additional 18 small satellites lifts off from the launch pad at the new Vostochny cosmodrome outside the city of Tsiolkovsky, about 125 miles from the city of Blagoveshchensk in the far eastern Amur region, Russia. (Dmitri Lovetsky / Associated Press)
In this Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017 photo, a Russian Soyuz 2.1b rocket carrying the Meteor M satellite and additional 18 small satellites lifts off from the launch pad at the new Vostochny cosmodrome outside the city of Tsiolkovsky, about 125 miles from the city of Blagoveshchensk in the far eastern Amur region, Russia. (Dmitri Lovetsky / Associated Press)

MOSCOW – Russian space experts have managed to regain control of Angola’s first satellite, which was launched earlier this week, officials said Friday.

The Russian-built satellite successfully entered a designated orbit after Tuesday’s launch from the Baikonur pad in Kazakhstan, but experts couldn’t immediately establish contact.

The state-run Energia company that built the AngoSat 1 satellite said Friday its engineers have finally established communications with the craft and received data indicating that all its systems are operating properly.

Relieved with the good news, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees space programs, congratulated the Angolan ambassador on the satellite launch, saying the two nations should further deepen their cooperation.

The initial glitch with the Angolan satellite followed a failed satellite launch in November, drawing attention to the Russian space industry’s problems and causing a round of finger-pointing between top officials.

Asked about the failures, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that they warrant a thorough analysis of the situation in the space industry.


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