Satellite destroyed in SpaceX explosion could cost $50 million

Israel's Space Communications says it could seek $50 million or a free flight on Elon Musk's SpaceX as a result of a rocket explosion last week that wrecked its Amos-6 satellite, according to Reuters.

Smoke rises from a Cape Canaveral site after reports of an explosion tied SpaceX activities.
NASA TV via Reuters/Screenshot by CNET

An explosion that destroyed a SpaceX rocket carrying an Israeli satellite last week is being felt well beyond Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Israel-based Space Communication told reporters Sunday that it could seek $50 million or a free flight from Elon Musk's SpaceX to cover the cost of its now destroyed Amos-6 advanced communications satellite, according to Reuters. The explosion occurred on Thursday morning during a routine firing of SpaceX' Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral.

During the conference call in Hebrew, Spacecom officials also said the company could collect $205 million from Israel Aerospace Industries, which built the Amos-6 satellite, Reuters said.

The satellite was leased by Facebook, which was going to use it to beam broadband internet to rural sub-Saharan Africa. It's too early to tell if the explosion will affect Spacecom's planned merger with Beijing Xinwei Technology Group, Reuters said, quoting the company's general counsel. Xinwei's agreement to buy Spaceom for $285 million was contingent upon the successful launch and operation of Amos-6.

Spacecom did not immediately respond to a request for an English language statement on the meeting. A SpaceX representative declined to comment, noting: "We don't disclose contract or insurance terms." The company has been issuing public updates on the explosion here.