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'Hey, Elon? You broke it, you bought it' says owner of SpaceX's satellite cinder

Hand over $50m in compo or at least a free flight, says Israel's Spacecom

By Richard Chirgwin, 5 Sep 2016

Battered by the loss of its satellite in last week's SpaceX earth-shattering kaboom, Israeli company Spacecom wants Elon Musk's launch company to part with cash or a free flight.

The Amos-6 satellite fried in the disaster was intended to provide broadband coverage of Africa, with Facebook and Eutelsat among its intended customers.

Over the weekend, Reuters took in a Spacecom conference call in which Spacecom said it wanted US$50 million or a free flight.

The company also has its eye on satellite builder Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI), which assembled the $205 million bird, for compensation.

Before the “pad anomaly” last week, Spacecom was the target of a $285 million takeover by Chinese outfit Xinwei – but the takeover was contingent on a successful Amos-6 launch.

In other words: the $255 million it wants back from SpaceX and IAI is a big chunk of the valuation Xinwei put on Spacecom.

While Reuters says Spacecom had insurance, neither it nor SpaceX have said how far the cover will go to plugging the holes in their pockets. ®

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing