CAIRO: Egypt has lost communication with its remote sensing Earth observation satellite EgyptSat 2, less than a year since it was launched in April 2014, Russian newspaper Izvestia reported Thursday.
Sources from RSC Energia; a Russian manufacturer of spacecraft and space station components that built the satellite told the Russian newspapers that “the satellite is not responding to the instructions and does not properly orbit Earth.”
Egyptian and Russian experts have been working together to restore communication with the satellite since April 14, according to Izvestia.
Russian Space Agency adviser Hussein al-Shafie dispelled rumors that EgyptSat 2 is still orbiting and has not experienced any cuts in communication, Youm7 reported.
“Egypt has been in full control of the management, control and operation of the EgyptSat 2 since the beginning of 2015,” said Shafie.
The main reason for the loss of connection with the Egyptian satellite may be due to “a human factor,” Igor Marinin, chief-editor of Novosti Kosmonavtica magazine was quoted by Izvestia Thursday.
“Such cases occur when the satellite is given the wrong orders. It might lead to the loss of its engine,” said Marinin.
On April 16, 2014, the satellite was launched on board a Soyuz-U rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome which was a milestone toward establishing the Egyptian Space Agency.
EgyptSat 2, a high-resolution surveillance satellite was originally planned to launch Oct. 1, 2013, but the launch was put on hold in 2011 following all contact being lost with EgyptSat 1 due to a failure of its communication system four years after it was launched in 2007.
The cost of the building and management of EgyptSat 2, Egypt’s path toward intelligence satellite capabilities, is estimated at $40 million, according to Izvestia.