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DAILY DOSE | Thanks to Israel’s launch of the Amos-17 satellite on the back of a SpaceX rocket, Africa will have an extra arm in service for telecoms. Givatayim Observatory Scientific Director Diana Laufer discusses with host Eylon Levy.
Israeli satellite Amos-17 successfully launched into space overnight Wednesday from Cape Canaveral in Florida after it was delayed last weekend due to a potential defect in the equipment on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, eliciting fears of deja vu from a failed launch in September, 2016.
President Reuven Rivlin applauded the successful launch, a “morning full of pride,” as he thanked those involved for their “important work for the State of Israel.”
Space-Communication Ltd. (“Spacecom”), the Israeli company that says the Amos-17 is its “most advanced” satellite, explained in a statement Friday that the launch had been delayed due to a suspected faulty valve discovered during testing of the rocket.
Built by Boeing, the $250 million Amos-17 is meant to provide services over the African continent, nearly three years after Spacecom lost its Amos-6 satellite in an explosion on the launchpad of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Spacecom, which has deployed satellites around the globe since its inception in 1993, supplies satellite services for TV operators, internet and telephone providers, governments and private data companies.
The satellite weighs 6.5 tons (half due to fuel) and will extend to 35 meters (115 feet) in length once its wing-like solar panels are deployed in space.
It will take 11 days until it reaches its destination over Africa and an additional two days to be fully set up with antennas and solar panels.
The satellite is expected to operate for 20 years, with the firm saying it already received orders of $58 million in services for Africa.