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Space Communications canceled the contract for the production of Amos 8 in the USA, and with a high probability of transferring it to the aviation industry

The company announced this yesterday in a statement to the stock exchange. It was also stated in the announcement that the launch contract with SpaceX, whose launcher exploded the Amos 6 satellite, will be canceled 

Amos 8. Illustration courtesy of the aviation industry
Amos 8. Illustration courtesy of the aviation industry

The saga that began with the explosion of the Amos 6 satellite in the launch pad at Cape Canaveral on September 1, 2016, regarding the preservation of the production capacity of communication satellites in the aviation industry, is apparently about to end. The space company issued a statement to the stock exchange yesterday in which it updated that it canceled the contract for the purchase and launch of the Amos 8 satellite from Loral space systems. The cancellation will take place according to the terms of the contract signed between the two companies.

In addition, the deputy CEO of the company, Yitzhak Schniberg, informed the stock exchange that Space Communications also canceled the launch agreement with SpaceX. As you may remember, the Amos 6 satellite was damaged by explosions from a SpaceX launcher in September 2016. The two companies then agreed that SpaceX would launch the replacement satellite that it would order for communication space, Amos 8, free of charge.
Instead, in accordance with the contract with SpaceX, the company is entitled to the return of the amounts it paid to SpaceX for the launch of the Amos 8 satellite, with the exception of an agreed amount that will be retained by SpaceX, as previously reported
However, at the end of the message, Schniberg writes that the company has not yet decided who will build Amos 8. "The company is working to promote the Amos 8 satellite program in the best possible way, and is examining the feasibility and viability of a number of alternatives before it, including the possibility of cooperation with the Israeli government."

The government decided on September 2, 2018 to participate in the financing of an Israeli communication satellite in order to preserve the knowledge gained in the aviation industry in the field of communication satellites. It was a journey that began about two years ago, shortly after the explosion of the Amos 6 satellite and thus the launch at Cape Canaveral, an inter-ministerial committee headed by the Director General of the Ministry of Science Peretz Vezan, and recommended an outline that takes into account all the needs against the cost to the state: use of commercial communication satellites Made in Israel and operated by an Israeli company. Since the cost of communication satellites made in Israel is higher than their cost on the world market (due to the small number of satellites), the committee determined that there is a need to develop infrastructure and capabilities in order to bridge the cost gap.
However, until now it was not clear who would operate the satellite, whether Chalal Communications would purchase it with a government subsidy or whether the aerospace industry that would build it would also launch it and operate it for Israeli government clients. The assessment in the industry is that despite the company's statements that it is still considering who to order the satellite from, it will most likely be the Aerospace Industry, if only due to the fear of competition.

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One response

  1. Kudos to the Israeli government for getting some sense. It is better to subsidize Israeli high technology products. Most countries with high technology prefer to subsidize local production in order to maintain and develop local knowledge.

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