The Amos 17 communications satellite was boosted by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, early Wednesday. The successful launch into orbit over the Africa continent came three years after Amos 6 was destroyed by an explosion on the Falcon launch pad. This time, SpaceX was extra careful and delayed the launch of Amos 17 for three days over a suspected malfunction in the rocket engines.
DEBKAfile: This communications satellite will supply Israel’s intelligence services with data on Iran after a three-year gap during which they made do with makeshift technical devices.
The $250m satellite built by Boeing is now operating autonomously and due to reach a point 36,000km above the earth’s surface in 11 days.