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Spacecom deal depends on SpaceX success

September 1, 2016

By Chris Forrester

Israel-based satellite operator Spacecom is likely to be bought by China’s Xinwei Group for $285 million. But the deal is dependent on SpaceX launching Spacecom’s latest satellite into orbit on Saturday morning, September 3rd.

The lift-off is scheduled for 3am (Florida time) when a two-hour window opens for the launch of Amos-6, a much-needed satellite for Spacecom. 

Facebook has reserved some key transponders on Amos-6 (in a 5-year contract negotiated via Eutelsat) to beam broadband services to Africa.

SpaceX is using Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral when a Falcon 9 rocket will orbit the satellite. SpaceX then hopes to re-land the rocket’s first stage onto its floating barge (named: “Of course I still love you”) a few hundred miles downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.

If all goes well with the launch, then the Chinese buyer has to seek local regulatory and shareholder approval for the purchase.

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