The Simon Bolivar communications satellite was launched in 2008 during the presidency of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez (1999-2013)

Venezuela's first communications satellite, launched in 2008, is out of service due to a systems failure, the country's government said Wednesday.

"Due to a failure, the Simon Bolivar satellite is no longer working for communication," said the science and technology minister in a statement, without giving further details.

On Monday, the US-based news site Space News reported that VeneSat1—the satellite's other name—"has been stuck for 10 days in an ," after a "series of maneuvers left it tumbling in an unusable orbit."

According to the Bolivarian Agency for Space Activities, the satellite was used to transmit certain , as well as for internet connections and mobile telephone use.

It was built by China and baptized "Simon Bolivar" in honor of a national Venezuelan hero. It was launched in 2008, while Hugo Chavez was in office (1999-2013).

Venezuela launched a second satellite, the "Francisco de Miranda," in September 2012.