Spacecom to demand USD 50 mln or free flight from SpaceX

Israel’s Spacecom said it may seek USD 50 million or a free flight from SpaceX after its communications satellite was destroyed by an explosion at SpaceX’s Florida launch site, according to Reuters citing Spacecom representatives. Spacecom’s Amos-6 satellite was scheduled to launch on 03 September, but during a routine test an anomaly occurred on the launchpad, causing the rocket and satellite to explode. The Amos-6 was expected to be used in part by Facebook for its plans to bring broadband to sub-Saharan Africa.

Spacecom may also collect USD 205 million from Israel Aerospace Industries, which built the Amos-6 satellite, the Israeli’s company officials said in a conference call with reporters. The company is working with customers to arrange alternative capacity. Ku-band clients on Amos-2 that were to be relocated to Amos-6 will be relocated to Amos-3. For others, the company will help find capacity on other satellites or possibly on a satellite that will be relocated, either permanently or temporarily, to the 4 degrees West orbital position.

Spacecom’s share price was hit hard in the aftermath of the explosion, with its shares dropping 9 percent on 1 September, the day of the explosion, and by 34 percent when trading resumed. Spacecom is also in the process of closing its merger with Beijing Xinwei Technology. Xinwei last month agreed to buy Spacecom for USD 285 million but said the deal was contingent on the successful launch of the Amos-6 satellite. Spacecom said it was in talks with Xinwei to see if the merger agreement can be amended.

from Department of Private Space Inc.