SpaceX to retry satellite launch after explosion
SpaceX is reattempting to get a Spacecom satellite into orbit after a launchpad explosion destroyed $262m worth of equipment on the last try.
The companies have come to an agreement, according to Israeli satellite operator Spacecom, which told the Tel Aviv stock exchange it would be launching a satellite with SpaceX in 2019.
Spacecom demanded a free launch after SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket exploded at the Cape Canaveral launch centre in Florida last year during a routine pre-flight test.
The cost of the launch will be fully covered by credits from the unfulfilled launch, Spacecom said.
The explosion in September 2016 destroyed a $200m communications satellite which the company was set to take into orbit, as well as the $62m rocket itself.
Accident investigators concluded that a canister of helium burst inside the rocket's second-stage liquid oxygen tank, which sparked an explosion.
It was a huge blow to the company's ambitions to start taking US astronauts to the International Space Station.
It also cost the company a rocket, which SpaceX land after launching – whereas competitors are forced to build new ones for every launch.
This helped the company manage an economy of business superior to rivals, helping it achieve a valuation of $21bn (£16bn), making it one of the most valuable privately owned companies in the world.
Spacecom said it would aim to launch a second satellite with the company in 2020.
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