Avanti wins SpaceX case

UK-based satellite operator Avanti Communications has won its legal action against rocket launch company SpaceX and will now recover its $7.56 million deposit paid against the planned launch of Hylas-1, its first satellite.

The verdict, decided by the American Arbitration Association in New York, also sees Avanti get interest on its claim. SpaceX was originally contracted to launch Avanti’s Hylas-1 craft towards the end of 2009 but SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket was not ready, and Avanti awarded the contract to Arianespace which successfully launched the craft.

However, SpaceX held onto the deposit, hence the action. Avanti, in a trading update, says it now has a backlog of $139 million for Hylas-1, and its current utilisation rate is 35.1 per cent.

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