Angola’s first satellite, known as Angosat-1, was launched on Tuesday from the Baikonur base in Kazakhstan, following an investment of US$320 million.
Angosat, which weight 55 kilograms, was built by a Russian state consortium and launched using Ukrainian rocket Zenit-3SLB, and also involved Roscosmo, a Russian state space company.
Construction of the satellite, whose launch was delayed several times, began in 2013. Angosat-1 is intended to provide telecommunications, television, Internet and electronic governance services to Angola, and will remain in orbit for at least 18 years.
The Minister for Telecommunications and Information Technology, Carvalho da Rocha, said that 40% of the satellite’s capacity had already been commercially reserved.
According to the Angolan minister the government estimates it will recover its investment in two years at the least.
Angola thus becomesthe seventh African country, along with Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia, with a communications satellite in orbit. It will be in a test period until March, officials have said.
The satellite will be placed over the equator at an altitude of 36,000 kilometres. (macauhub)