Russian satellite
The Souyz-2 spacecraft with Meteor-M satellite and 18 additional small satellites launches from Russia's new Vostochny cosmodrome, near the town of Tsiolkovsky in Amur region, Russia 28 November 2017 REUTERS/Stringer

Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin has admitted that a 2.6bn-rouble ($45m) satellite launched was lost following a programming mistake.

Roscosmos, a Russian space agency, said it had lost contact with the newly launched weather satellite, called the Meteor-M, after it was launched from Russia's new Vostochny cosmodrome in the far east in November.

The deputy prime minister told Rossiya 24 state TV on Wednesday (27 December) that the embarrassing failure had been due to human error.

Rogozin said the rocket carrying the satellites had been wrongly programmed with incorrect coordinates with bearings for take-off from Baikonur, the cosmodrome Moscow leases from Kazakhstan.

"The rocket was really programmed as if it was taking off from Baikonur," he said. "They didn't get the coordinates right."

The rocket was also carrying 18 smaller satellites that belonged to scientific, research and commercial companies from Canada, Germany, Japan, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US.

The Vostochny cosmodrome is located in the thick taiga forest of the Amur region and is the first civilian rocket launch site in Russia.

Russia launched its first rocket from Vostochny in April 2016 after delays and massive costs overruns. A technical glitch forced an embarrassing delay of the rocket launch in front of President Vladimir Putin.

Roscosmos also announced it had lost contact with an Angolan telecommunications satellite launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome, Radio Free Europe reported. The space agency said the launch was successful but that ground control stopped getting telemetric data from the satellite shortly after it entered orbit.

The satellite, Angola's first telecoms satellite, was launched on Tuesday (26 December) from Baikonur and separated from the booster rocket early on Wednesday.