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SpaceX Could Owe $50 Million or Free Flight to Spacecom After Explosion

SpaceX Launches Dragon Spacecraft For Mission To International Space StationSpaceX Launches Dragon Spacecraft For Mission To International Space Station
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.Photograph by Joe Raedle — Getty Images

Israel-based satellite operator Space Communication Ltd. said on Sunday that it could seek $50 million or a free flight from Elon Musk’s SpaceX after a rocket exploded on a Florida launchpad last week, destroying a Spacecom satellite.

The Israeli satellite firm said the damage to the satellite could cause its equity to decline by $30 million to $123 million, Reuters reports. Spacecom officials said they also could collect $205 million from Israel Aerospace Industries, which built the AMOS-6 satellite, according to the news agency.

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The satellite that exploded on Thursday, Amos-6, was built by Spacecom. It’s unclear what caused the blast, but Musk wrote on Twitter that the issue may have involved the rocket’s upper stage oxygen tank.

Facebook (FB) was set to use the destroyed satellite to offer Internet access in parts of Africa.

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