Spacecom selects SpaceX to launch Amos-17 using credits from loss of Amos-6
Israeli satellite operator Spacecom is calling in its credit with SpaceX to launch the Amos-17 telecommunications satellite, tentatively scheduled for liftoff in 2019. The credit is from fees that the company had already paid SpaceX for the launch of Amos-6 but was “refunded” to the satellite operator after the loss of the satellite in a pad incident on September 1, 2016.
Not long after the loss of the satellite, it was reported that Spacecom intended to recover funds from not only SpaceX but also from satellite manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). For its part, SpaceX agreed to either refund $50 million to Spacecom or to launch another mission for the satellite operator for no additional charge.
Boeing was selected by Spacecom in 2016 to build the all-digital Amos-17 telecommunications satellite to meet the growing needs of it Eastern Hemisphere markets. The contract is pegged at $161 million.
“AMOS-17 will be a multi-band high-throughput, state-of-the-art satellite that will provide reliable solutions and offer a significant competitive advantage for our customers,” stated Spacecom president and CEO David Pollack, in a release issued by the company. “We are pleased to partner with Boeing in making this important addition to our fleet.”
Amos-17 will serve customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) with C-band, Ka-band, and Ku-band operations from its position at 17 degrees East. The satellite will be based on Boeing’s 702 satellite platform and has a design life of at least 15 years. Like most current-generation satellites, Amos-17 will be outfitted with an all-digital processing architecture.
Though the launch of Amos-17 is to be covered by the loss of Amos-6, it is not a replacement for the destroyed satellite. Spacecom plans to fill the gap left by the loss of Amos-6 with the launch of Amos-8 in the latter half of 2020, also on a SpaceX Falcon 9.
Curt Godwin has been a fan of space exploration for as long as he can remember, keeping his eyes to the skies from an early age. Initially majoring in Nuclear Engineering, Curt later decided that computers would be a more interesting - and safer - career field. He's worked in education technology for more than 20 years, and has been published in industry and peer journals, and is a respected authority on wireless network engineering. Throughout this period of his life, he maintained his love for all things space and has written about his experiences at a variety of NASA events, both on his personal blog and as a freelance media representative.