SpaceX could foot $50m Spacecom bill from satellite destruction

Following the explosion of one of its Flacon 9 rockets last week, SpaceX is now likely to be told to pay $50m in damages to the Israeli firm Spacecom after its AMOS-6 satellite was destroyed in the explosion.

Still reeling from the “anomaly on the pad” on 1 September that resulted in the explosion of its Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad, SpaceX is now coming to terms with the financial fallout from is partners.

The seemingly straight-forward mission to launch a number of satellites into space – including Facebook’s latest internet-beaming satellite – was lost during the explosion.

Now, according to Reuters, the Israeli company Spacecom – that had its AMOS-6 satellite – on board will be seeking $50m or a free flight from SpaceX for the destruction of its satellite.

The AMOS-6 satellite was supposed to be leased by Facebook and satellite operator Eutelsat to roll out Mark Zuckerberg’s grand project to connect remote parts of the world to the internet.

Now in smithereens, both Facebook and Eutelsat plan to find other means of getting a communications satellite over Africa, which could harm SpaceX’s reputation as a private space payload provider.

Spacecom takeover on the rocks

In a statement via email to Reuters, SpaceX would not disclose what the insurance terms were for this explosion were due to it being a private company.

For Spacecom, the $50m it is asking from SpaceX will be added to the expected collection of $205m from Israel Aerospace Industries that built the AMOS-6 satellite.

However, the destruction of the satellite has had major implications for Spacecom as it had agreed to sell itself to the Chinese tech firm Beijing Xinwei for $275m last month, but only following the successful launch of AMOS-6.

Following the explosion, its share value dropped by 9pc immediately after the explosion, but following the suspension on trading of its shares on the 4 September, its stock had fallen by another 34pc.

The Chinese firm has now said in a statement that it was now discussing with Spacecom where to go from here in terms of a takeover.

from Department of Private Space Inc.