Amos-17 was successfully launched into orbit with great relief given that the previous attempt to launch the Amos-6 satellite in 2016 ended in disaster when the fuel tank of the launch vehicle exploded, destroying the satellite and rocket before liftoff.
The successful launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida will put the 6.5-ton Amos-17 satellite in orbit to meet Africa’s fast-growing communication needs. Spacecom, a private Israeli company, specifically designed Amos-17 to meet the communication needs for the African continent’s growing population. The satellite will provide Africa with the continent’s most up-to-date and advanced digital networks for internet, telephone, GPS and other communications connecting Africa with the Middle East, Europe, India, China and as far west as Brazil.
The satellite, now on route to its 17°E orbital position (hence its name), will spend the next few months in orbit testing its capabilities while maintaining constant contact with the ground crew. It is expected to begin commercial operations later in 2019. Amos stands for “Affordable Modular Optimized Satellite” and also hints at the Hebrew prophet Amos.
Spacecom CEO and President David Pollack stated, “AMOS-17 places us directly into the exciting growth of Africa’s Sub-Saharan vibrant markets. As a leading multi-regional satellite operator, Spacecom is introducing the most technologically advanced satellite with HTS beams to service Africa where AMOS-17 will deliver a large selection of services to a variety of broadcast, broadband and telecom clients.”