As for AO-40. It failed for the same reason that suitsat 1 did, and for the same reason that a lot of people who build their own airplane kill
every year trying to "test fly it"....the project got to big for the organization that was building it...ie their technical competence was insufficient for the task at hand.
Spaceflight is dangerous business, unforgiving of the smallest human error. Results are never guaranteed. If we can't take a bloody nose without crying about it then we don't belong in this business.
Dan Schultz N8FGV