Lost in space: Venezuela’s only telecoms satellite stops working

30 Mar 2020

Venezuela’s only telecoms satellite, VeneSat-1 (also known as the Simon Bolivar Satellite), has drifted away from its assigned orbital position and stopped functioning, the Associated Press reports. The satellite was helping to deliver internet services to rural areas that are not connected via fibre-optic networks, and was also being used to broadcast Venezuela’s heavily politicised state-run television channels into poor or rural homes that have no access to cable TV. The Chinese-built satellite was launched in October 2008 by former President Hugo Chavez but has ceased functioning three years before its planned 2023 expiration date.