Israeli satellite operator Spacecom has a problem with its Amos 5 craft under construction in Russia. Due for launch later this summer, the satellite has a component problem that needs a further battery of time-consuming tests. But the knock-on consequences could present Spacecom with a major problem given that its launch date will now almost certainly slip well into the autumn, and possibly later.
The satellite is needed urgently on station at 17 deg East, a new orbital slot for Spacecom, and is designed to serve the African market. The slot is already occupied by an interim satellite (designated Amos 5i) which is a second-hand craft better known as AsiaSat 2. AsiaSat 2 was launched back in 1995 and is at the end of its designed life. Amos 5i already has clients on board in the shape of African Internet service provider Q-Kon, and Spacecom needs to supply a continuous ‘on station’ service.