After loss of satellite in SpaceX blast, Israeli company brings in replacement
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After loss of satellite in SpaceX blast, Israeli company brings in replacement

The Amos-7, a repurposed Asian satellite, will help Spacecom take over for the lost Amos-6, which exploded during fuelling test in September

The AsiaSat-8 satellite, now repurposed as Amos-7 (YouTube screenshot)
The AsiaSat-8 satellite, now repurposed as Amos-7 (YouTube screenshot)

Israeli satellite operator Spacecom announced Monday that its newly-christened Amos-7 satellite had begun operations in orbit over the earth.

Amos-7 is not a new satellite, but rather a repurposed AsiaSat-8 which Spacecom has rented as it rushes to deal with the loss of Amos-6 — the $300 million piece of technology that was destroyed in a September explosion on a SpaceX launchpad.

“Co-located with Amos-3, Amos-7 is replacing the Amos-2 satellite that is reaching the end of life after servicing customers for over 13 years,” the company announced.

The satellite has been successfully moved into its new position and tested. It will soon begin servicing the company’s customers in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.

The unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was in the midst of a routine fueling test for its scheduled launch when it exploded on September 1. The explosion was felt throughout NASA’s Cape Canaveral, Florida facility and for several miles around.

SpaceX later said the explosion was caused by the failure of one of three helium tanks inside the liquid oxygen tank in the rocket’s second stage. The loose liquid oxygen triggered a fuel explosion.

The rocket was scheduled to hoist into orbit the Amos-6 satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries and owned by Spacecom in partnership with Eutelsat Communications of France.

It was expected to operate for 16 years in part on behalf of Facebook and bring Internet connectivity to sub-Saharan Africa and television service to providers in Europe and the Middle East. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the project in June 2015.

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