SpaceX has been overcast with shadow since the unexpected explosion of its Falcon 9 rocket alongwith Facebook’s satellite that it was supposed to launch in a couple days. Now Reuters reports that Israel-based satellite operator Spacecom could seek reimbursement for its satellite either by collecting $50 million or a free flight from SpaceX.
The payload(or satellite) that also exploded in the blast was AMOS-6, a communications satellite developed as a joint effort between Facebook and France’s Eutelsat. It would have significantly expanded the communication services by providing internet connectivity to about 14 African countries. This satellite was being deployed as part of Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.org programme.
The officials of Spacecom are also reportedly out to collect $205 million from Israel Aerospace Industries, the company who built the satellite. SpaceX being a private company, hasn’t disclosed its contract or insurance terms with other agencies. It has neither disclosed what type of insurance it had purchased for the rocket nor what insurance company had it partnered with for the same.
The interwebs on Thursday were ablaze with the news of the rocket and satellite explosion. SpaceX already has more than 70 mission on its manifest, but the tragic loss of a second billion dollar rocket booster has caused wide-spread concern about the company’s operations. This explosion also led to the rapid depletion of market share(equity) of both Spacecom and Musk, adding upto about $30 million and $700 million respectively. According to sources, this blast could also lead to complications in the acquisition of Spacecom by Beijing’s Xinwei Technology Group.
It has now been over four days since the humongous explosion, that shook the neighborhood and trust of individuals over the private space company. The root cause for the explosion is currently unknown, but primary tests and data indicates that the anomaly originated around the upper stage liquid oxygen tank. There were no injuries to staff personnel present on ground for the launch.
Mark Zuckerberg, whose satellite was about to take flight using the Falcon 9, also expressed his ‘deep disappointment‘ for the explosion and loss of his Internet.org satellite. This, as he adds, delays his ambitious plan to connect every individual in the world using internet services.