WATCH: Launchpad Blast Deals Setback, Opportunities for Israeli Space Industry

Defense News reports: TEL AVIV – Thursday’s loss of the Israeli-built Amos-6 communications satellite in a launch pad explosion at Cape Canaveral marked a strategic setback, but also opportunities, for the Israeli space industry, whose follow-on orders were threatened by the planned sale of Spacecom, the Tel Aviv-based satellite operator, to a Beijing conglomerate.

Spacecom’s Amos-6, an estimated $200 million satellite built by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), was deemed a total loss after the Space-X Falcon 9 launcher to which it was attached blew up during a static engine test. In its report to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Spacecom said the “anomaly” would have “substantial influence” on the company.

Just last week in an Aug. 24 notice to its principal shareholders, Spacecom said it had agreed to sell the company for Xinwei Technology Group for $285 million in cash. The firm noted that the sale was contingent upon the successful launch of the Amos-6, planned from Cape Canaveral, planned for this Saturday, Sept. 3.

Now, with that planned deal clouded by uncertainty, Israeli industry executives and experts here say IAI may have greater chances of snagging an Amos-6 replacement order as well as follow-on contracts that may have gone to non-Israeli firms once the sale was complete.

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