Spacecom’s much-needed Amos-17 satellite will not be launched before June, according to reports. There had been suggestions that Amos-17 might launch in late May on a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX, but the satellite doesn’t yet appear in the formal SpaceX launch manifest.
The Boeing-built satellite is badly needed by the financially stressed Spacecom operation which has suffered a slew of unfortunate set-backs lately. Indeed, this new satellite is a replacement for Amos-6 which was lost in a catastrophic explosion atop a Falcon 9 rocket in September 2016.
Spacecom has already announced that it has firm contracts in place for Amos-17 including one worth $55 million, but according to a statement made to the Tel Aviv stock exchange that contract is at risk if the satellite doesn’t enter service on or before Q4 this year. That date looks safe.
Spacecom itself earlier this year confirmed that the overall launch window extended from May 20-June 19 but that it was hopeful that the week of May 27th was its target date.
Spacecom is getting a ‘free’ launch aboard SpaceX because of the explosion and loss.
Amos-17 cost $161 million to build, and will serve clients in Africa, the MENA region, Europe and the Far East. The satellite carries Ku, Ka and C-band payloads.