Venezuela’s telecommunications satellite, “VenesaT-1”, has suddenly changed its orbit and now reportedly “Lost in Space”, according to reports via AP. Ironically, the lost satellite was the only telecommunications satellite of Venezuela.
Notably, VeneSat-1 has failed three years before its expected end of life.
The VeneSat-1 satellite is also known as “Simon Bolivar”, which is named after a 19th century Venezuelan independence hero, was built, designed and launched in 2008 by CGWIC subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, which is the main contractor for the Chinese space program of the People’s Republic of China directed by the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
ExoAnalytic Solutions, a California-based firm that tracks global satellite traffic, was the one that first noticed the satellite problem on March 13 and reported that VeneSat-1 had veered away from its position at 78 degrees west longitude above Venezuela and was tumbling westward.
The satellite was helping to provide internet services to Venzuela`s rural areas that are not connected to fiber optic cables, and was also being used to broadcast Venezuela’s heavily politicized state-run television channels into poor or rural homes that have no access to cable TV.
According to the report, the cash-strapped Venezuelan government will now need to resort to international satellite providers to distribute its content to its poorest citizens. But migrating to commercial satellites will cost millions of dollars and could be hindered by U.S. sanctions.