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SpaceX asked to pay $50 million after losing a satellite

Spacecom wants compensation following SpaceX's launchpad explosion.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 4, 2016
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NASA TV/Handout via Reuters

SpaceX may have to deal with more than equipment losses and Mark Zuckerberg's disappointment in the wake of its launchpad explosion. Spacecom, which owned the AMOS-6 satellite destroyed in the incident (and part of Facebook's free internet plans), is asking SpaceX for either $50 million or a free flight as compensation. The loss will have a large impact on Spacecom's bottom line, as you might imagine. The Israeli firm is estimating that it'll lose between $30 million to $123 million in equity.

The team at SpaceX has yet to comment on Spacecom's request. We've reached out to see if it has a response. However, it won't take a grievous blow if it agrees to Spacecom's terms. As SpaceX explained when beginning its investigation of the explosion, there are about 70 missions on its manifest with a total value of $10 billion. The rocket and launchpad costs would be greater. Instead, the greater loss could be symbolic. Customers may well be worried that their payloads might face a similar fate, and they'll want reassurances that this was just a freak occurrence.

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