SpaceX launches Amos-17 satellite for Spacecom


WASHINGTON — SpaceX launched a communications satellite for Israeli satellite operator Spacecom Aug. 6 on an expendable Falcon 9 mission. 

The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 7:23 p.m. Eastern, following a three-day delay to replace a suspect rocket valve

Amos-17, Spacecom’s newest satellite, separated from the rocket’s upper stage 32 minutes after liftoff. The launch is SpaceX’s tenth for the year. 

Spacecom famously lost a satellite, Amos-6, during a Falcon 9 explosion days before a planned launch in 2016. The satellite operator said in 2017 that its launch of Amos-17 would be fully covered by credits from the unfulfilled mission

Built by Boeing, Amos-17 is designed to provide broadcast and broadband connectivity services across sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia. The satellite carries a mix of C-, Ku- and Ka-band transponders, plus a digital channelizer for improved capacity allocation and signal interference mitigation. 

SpaceX used the same first-stage booster to launch two previous satellites: Telstar-19 Vantage for Canadian operator Telesat in July 2018, and Es’hail-2 for Qatari operator Es’hailSat in November 2018. The company did not land the Falcon 9 booster for this mission, devoting the fuel that would have been used for a recovery instead to placing the 6,500-kilogram satellite into orbit. 

Amos-17 is designed to operate for 20 years — five more than the average geostationary communications satellite. With solar panels deployed, the satellite has a wingspan of 35 meters. 

Spacecom tasked Boeing with building Amos-17 in December 2016 under a $161 million contract. The satellite replaces Amos-5, a Russian and French-built spacecraft that ceased communicating in November 2015 just four years after launch due to a power failure.

Spacecom has been borrowing an AsiaSat satellite since 2017 to fill the gap left by Amos-5 while waiting for the launch of Amos-17. The company ordered another satellite, Amos-8, from Maxar Technologies in 2018, but canceled the purchase and a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch contract after the Israeli government said the satellite would be built domestically instead. 

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Download your digital edition of the SpaceNews SmallSat Show Daily
Greenland’s in the middle of a record melting event, as the Arctic burns and swelters
The 5 Lessons Everyone Should Learn From Einstein’s Most Famous Equation: E = mc^2
Are you excellent at trivia? Your brain could be uniquely wired
Scientists find the origin of an ancient Reservoir of Water Below The Israeli Desert

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *