David Pollack, CEO of Israel’s Space Communication Ltd plans a Amos-17 satellite launch next weekend which it hopes will mark a rebound from a couple of major setbacks in recent years.
Amos-17 manufactured by Boeing Co and has an expected lifespan of about 20 years, which will provide communication services to Africa, had a total budget including manufacturing, insurance and launch of about $250 million, and will join three others Spacecom operates.
Spacecom expects a successful launch on August 3 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to end a difficult time. In 2015, the company lost contact with its Amos-5 satellite and, a year later, Amos-6 was destroyed a few days before its planned launch, when a SpaceX rocket exploded.
“What happened with Amos-5 and Amos-6 was a setback for the company. So we know what to do. We believe we know how to grow. And it’s just a wonderful opportunity that comes with Amos-17, which is the most advanced satellite for the continent most in need,” Pollack said.
Amos-17 is expected to launch a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and orbit 36,000 kilometers above central Africa, providing television, Internet and cellular services, as well as services to governments.
The company said it has a sales backlog of $58 million for communication services to Africa and for other services.
Spacecom shares remain well below their peak of 78.30 shekels set in June 2010 but have rallied in recent weeks and closed at 11.60 shekels on Friday.
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