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March 1, 2017 6:41 am

Israel’s Amos-7 Space Communications Satellite Becomes Operational

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The Israeli company Spacecom’s Amos-3 communications satellite. Photo: Spacecom via Tsahi Ben-Ami/Flash90.

The Israeli company Spacecom’s Amos-3 communications satellite. Photo: Spacecom via Tsahi Ben-Ami/Flash90.

JNS.org – An Israeli space communications satellite began operating this week, marking a major milestone after the loss of two similar satellites in as many years.

The Amos-7, designed by the Israeli company Spacecom, replaced the aging Amos-2 communications satellite and will service clients in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The Amos-6 had been intended for that same purpose, before it was destroyed last September when an explosion engulfed the Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket carrying the satellite during a routine test at Cape Canaveral Airbase in Florida. The explosion occurred two days before the satellite was scheduled to be launched into orbit. Spacecom had lost contact with the Amos-5 communications satellite in 2015.

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Amos-7 is the first addition to Spacecom’s fleet since the Florida explosion. In orbit since 2014, the satellite was procured from Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings for $22 million per year for four years, with an option to extend the contract for an additional year.

“The satellite is a key element in expanding our multi-regional growth patterns and enhancing the array of communications — broadcast, broadband and data — that we can provide,” said Spacecom’s senior vice president of sales, Jacob Keret.

Spacecom also recently announced it is buying a satellite from Boeing Satellite Systems International for $161 million.

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