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Israeli satellite "Amos-17" is scheduled to be mounted on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and fired into space from the Kennedy Space Center next Sunday or Monday, Ynet reported.
Intended to improve TV, mobile and Internet services to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, the Amos-17 has an expected lifetime of about 20 years and will circulate 36,000 km. about Central Africa.
"Africa is a great continent," said a Spacecom official, the Israeli communications company that owns the satellite built by Boeing. "It is the fastest growing continent. Towards the end of this century, Asia and Africa will be equal in terms of population, which means that in terms of the percentage of the young population, it will be the largest young population in the world, as it will Being in demand for content It is difficult to reach any points on the ground so that a satellite solves the problem. "
The company said it has a $ 58 million sales reserve for communications services to Africa and for other services.
"We offer satellite communications internationally, but first and foremost, we are an Israeli company," said Spacecom CEO David Polak to Ynet. "We are the only Israeli satellite operator. We serve these satellites at another point in the sky that is of significance to the state of Israel. ”
In 2016, a SpaceX rocket carrying the most advanced Israeli communications satellite in history, Amos-6, exploded on the launch pad, at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and destroyed the $ 200 million unit two days before SpaceX claimed the explosion was caused by failure of one of three helium tanks, known as composite overhead pressure vessels or COPVs, in liquid oxygen containers in the second stage of the rocket.
Polak related to that event, and confirmed first of all that "We trust SpaceX," and added that This time, during the test of the missile, the satellite will our being in a bunker far away and covered so that if something happens with this missile in these experiments, we will not be damaged. "
The Ministry of Science and Technology announced in 2018 the development and construction of a new Israeli-built communications satellite, Amos -8, which will be built and designed entirely in Israel by Israel Aerospace Industries.
Amos-8 will be the seventh in a series of Israeli communications satellites, with anything but one developed by the IAI. The first satellite, Amos-1, was launched in 1996, primarily for home TV broadcasts.
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