You might have read recently that a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launchpad as it was being put through pre-launch tests. Not only did the company end up losing an expensive rocket, the customer it was supposed to deliver a satellite for is now asking the company to pay $50 million in compensation for inadvertently blowing up its satellite. The AMOS-6 satellite that SpaceX was supposed to launch in this mission is owned by Spacecom.
Spacecom isn’t being stubborn. The loss of a satellite it spent precious time and resources developing is going to have an impact on its bottom line. Spacecom estimates that this loss is going to cost the company between $30 million to $123 million in equity.
It has now asked SpaceX to either pay the company $50 million in compensation for blowing up its satellite or commit to providing it a free flight once Falcon 9 launches get back underway. SpaceX has not yet publicly commented on this request to give its position on the matter.
SpaceX will certainly need to do all it can to ensure its customers that such an incident that puts their payload at risk will not be repeated. It won’t be surprising if it takes strong confidence building measures to ensure that it’s got a handle on things.
SpaceX currently has almost 70 missions on the manifest that are valued at nearly $10 billion so it’s not like the company is hurting for business.
from Department of Private Space Inc.