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Spacecom looks for new satellite after Amos-6 explosion

AMOS-6-Side-Bar-210x120Spacecom has said it is exploring the possibility of procuring and launching a replacement satellite following the loss of its Amos-6 in a launch-pad explosion.

In a statement issued yesterday, Spacecom said that it will serve all of its current and future financial commitments and said it is developing a “plan of action” for how to move forward.

Spacecom CEO, David Pollack said that the action plan “represents the foundation upon which we shall recover from Amos-6’s loss”, adding that alternative capacity was being sought on other satellites.

“Our program includes, among other measures, exploring the possibility of procuring and launching a replacement satellite. Working quickly and efficiently, management is engaging with current and potential partners to move forward,” he said.

Some of Spacecom’s current Ku-band clients on Amos-2, which were due to be relocated to AMOS-6, will now be relocated to Amos-3, the company said.

For others, Spacecom said it is planning to help find capacity on other satellites or “possibly on a satellite that will be relocated, either permanently or temporarily, to the 4°West orbital position”.

Amos-6 was destroyed last week following the launch-pad explosion of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was due to carry it into space during a standard pre-launch static fire test.

The loss impacted on Eutelsat and Facebook’s plans to lease the satellite’s Ka-band payload covering Sub-Saharan Africa in order to launch broadband services there from early 2017.

It has also thrown Spacecom’s planned merger with companies from the Beijing Xinwei Group into doubt. The US$285 million (€253 million) deal was contingent on AMOS-6’s successful launch and completion of in-orbit testing.

“Spacecom has updated Xinwei regarding the loss of the satellite and together the parties shall explore possibilities to amend the current agreement to reflect the new situation,” said the company.