SpaceX may be on the hook to compensate Space Communication Ltd. for the satellite that was destroyed during the explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket — either with a free trip or $50 million, according to Reuters.
The construction, launch preparation and operation of the AMOS-6 satellite, which would have been used to “significantly expand the variety of communications services provided by Spacecom,” reportedly cost the company more than $195 million. The officials from the company also noted that it could also collect upwards of $205 million from Israel Aircraft Industries, which built the satellite. SpaceX hasn’t said what kind of insurance it purchased for the rocket, or what that insurance might pay for, Reuters reported. SpaceX wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Had the satellite been launched this weekend, it would have been used to provide wireless connectivity to parts of sub-Saharan Africa, as part of Facebook’s Internet.org initiative. The tech company had partnered with Eutelstat Communications to help deliver the service.
Spacecom has been hit hard by the loss of the satellite, “with its equity expected to decline by $30 million to $123 million.” That’s not all — an acquisition of Spacecom by Beijing Xinwei Technology Group required the launch of the satellite to go off without a hitch. “In a conference call with reporters, Spacecom’s general counsel Gil Lotan said it was too early to say” whether Xinwei was still interested in buying Spacecom.
SpaceX made history with the Falcon 9 in April
from Department of Private Space Inc.