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Spacecom admits “very hurt” by explosion

Israel-based satellite operator Spacecom has had a terrible 18 months. In November 2015, its Amos-5 satellite failed despite being less than four years old. Then, in September last year, it lost its Amos-6 satellite in a catastrophic explosion atop a Falcon-9 rocket when a ground-test went badly wrong. That explosion didn’t just cost Spacecom dearly in lost business, it also scuppered a potential sale of the company to a Chinese business.

Spacecom has rented AsiaSat-8 for a four-year period to fill the gap of the lost Amos-6, and has an option for a 5th year if needed. AsiaSat-8 is now being marketed by Spacecom as Amos-7.  The follow-on satellite (and totally replacing the lost Amos-6) will be Amos-8 and is due for launch early in 2020 provided that the company can raise sufficient capital and corporate backing.

Spacecom’s CEO David Pollack says that his business was “very much hurt” by the September explosion, and that it represented a major setback to its business. Talking to trade magazine Space Intel Report, he admitted that the satellite’s loss also meant the loss of a deal in place with Facebook.

Pollack says that the building of its Amos-17 satellite is continuing (with Boeing) and that he was now in discussion with a launch provider for the satellite, which is due for delivery in early 2019.  Amos-17 will go to 17 degrees East upon launch.

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