This is a severe blow to the aerospace industry, since the production of Amos 1,2,3,4, 6, XNUMX, XNUMX satellites that were successfully launched into space and Amos XNUMX that exploded, therefore the launch in Florida about a year and a half ago allowed the aerospace industry's Mabat Space company to develop a specialization in building complex satellites, and now they will actually have to disband the crews and in the event The good thing is to transfer them to other projects in the aviation industry, but without preserving the knowledge
The Space Communications Company announced this evening (25/3/18 at 19:00 PM) to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that it entered into an agreement with the American company Loral Space Systems, according to which the company ordered from Loral the production of the Amos 8 communications satellite and its systems and other services. The launch, by SpaceX, is expected to take place in 2020.
Even earlier, the Amos 17 satellite built by Boeing will be launched into space, - at the point of the sky above the longitude 17 degrees East (hence its name). This satellite will also be launched by SpaceX in place of the Amos 5 satellite, the compressed schedule is due to the need to fill this spot in the sky before this right expires in three years.
This is a severe blow to the aerospace industry, since the production of Amos 1,2,3,4, 6, XNUMX, XNUMX satellites that were successfully launched into space and Amos XNUMX that exploded, therefore the launch in Florida about a year and a half ago allowed the aerospace industry's Mabat Space company to develop a specialization in building complex satellites, and now they will actually have to disband the crews and in the event The good thing is to transfer them to other projects in the aviation industry, but without preserving the knowledge.
"Loral is a company from California, USA, which develops and manufactures diverse aerospace products and has over 60 years of experience in the field of space." writes the company in a statement to the stock exchange.
"Loral is one of the top satellite manufacturers in the world and has produced over 270 satellites. According to the terms of the Amos 8 purchase agreement, the satellite is planned to be delivered to the company after completing its on-orbit tests within 27 months from the date of the advance payment, in preparation for its planned activity at the geostationary orbit point 4 West and to replace the Amos 7 satellite." Amos 8 will join the Amos 3 satellite at this point in the sky.
"Amos 8 will enable the company to continue its growth and development through the provision of communication services to the Middle East, Europe and Africa."
The total consideration for the purchase of the satellite and its systems, including a ground control system for the operation of the satellite, launch support services, support for the operation of the satellite for the duration of its life and support for operations to insure the launch of the satellite and during its operation in orbit amounts to approximately 112 million dollars.
According to the agreement signed between SpaceX and SpaceX, the launch of Amos 8 on a Falcon 9 launcher will be provided free of charge, instead of the failed launch for which SpaceX paid in advance.
Space Communications has known difficult years. First it was the Amos 5 satellite (built in Russia) that lost contact with it on December 21, 2015. Less than a year later, on September 1, 2016, the rocket that carried the Amos 6 satellite exploded on the launch pad used by the SpaceX company that was chosen to launch the satellite during refueling in Cape Canaveral, and Space Communications had to rent another satellite - Asiasat 8, renamed Amos 7, for $22 million per year.
The disaster interrupted the deal for the sale of communications space to the Chinese consortium Xinwei and control of it (64%) remained in the hands of Eurocom Holdings and Bezeq - both owned by Shaul Elowitz Elowitz is currently accused in case 4000 on the suspicion that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acted in the interests of Bezeq contrary to the position of the professionals in the Ministry of Communications Among other things, he gave the Netanyahu family positive coverage on the Bezeq-owned Walla website. Elovitz was recently forced to resign from Bezeq's board of directors.
In December 2016, Science Minister Ofir Akunis and the CEO of his office, Peretz Wezan, who chaired a special committee, presented a report compiled by the committee according to which "the state must invest in a new Israeli communication satellite instead of Amos 6. Currently, no additional communication satellite is being developed in Israel and there is a fear that in an emergency there will not be one for Israel response to its communication needs, and there may be severe damage to communication abilities, the economy and the routine of life. This is a vital need to ensure the existence of Israel as a country whose future is in its hands and to maintain our position in the limited club of countries operating in space, we must budget for a new satellite."
Among the recommendations that emerge from the report, an addition of NIS 120 million per year to the Israel Space Agency's budget in the Ministry of Science for the development of satellites and space projects; Establishing an array of four active communication satellites at the same time and supporting the development of products in the space industry that will compete in the global market. The committee states that "an array of communications satellites strengthens Israel's communications redundancy and security during an emergency," and that the State of Israel has a vital need for independent capabilities to obtain information and transmit it through Israeli communications satellites.
The committee drew a worrying picture according to which the field of communication satellites in Israel is in a serious crisis that threatens the entire space program.
A little over a year later towards the end of January 2018, the Knesset's Science Committee convened to discuss the issue and it became clear that the Treasury transferred less than half of the amount needed to prepare for the construction of Amos 8.
Ofer Doron, Director of Bat Halal, the Aerospace Industry, said at the same meeting of the Science Committee: "The committee appointed by the Ministry of Science made clear recommendations with the required amount - NIS 70 million per year. I understand that there is less than half of the recommended amount and that is the gap, what else are we planning to receive within the framework of this budget Funds from non-existent insurance. 14 million and a little more from the Ministry of Science is not enough, the gaps are too big and unfortunately it seems to me that we are a step away from the end of the road. Space Communications leases a replacement satellite for a lot of money, someone will have to pay for the extension of the contract and it will not come together at this rate."
Indeed, the announcement of a communication space from the Arab and its need as a public company to think about the interests of the shareholders before the interests of the state, put an end to this attempt, and perhaps also to the Israeli satellite program.
We will continue and follow.
Previous articles on the topic on the science website
- Over a year after the explosion of Amos 6 - there is still no agreed outline for the construction of Amos 8
- SpaceX will launch the two future communication space satellites
- Mabat Halal director: A foreign company will build Amos 8
- Space Communications ordered the "Amos 17" satellite from Boeing for $161 million
- It appears: the Amos 8 satellite will not be built in Israel
- The explosion of the Amos 6 satellite - initial reports immediately after the disaster