This satellite firm wants millions from SpaceX after rocket explosion

Lynsey Barber
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The fiery explosion of the Falcon-9 is likely to be pricey (Source: Getty)

It's not great when your experimental rocket ship explodes. It's even less great when said rocket is carrying some rather expensive equipment.

The owner of the satellite on board the SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket which was last week destroyed by an unexpected and fiery explosion has now demanded $50m (£38m) from Elon Musk's company - or a free ride on the next launch.

Read more: The SpaceX rocket explosion destroyed Facebook's first satellite

Israeli firm Spacecom told reporters the loss of the satellite would have a serious impact on the company, wiping as much as $30m from the publicly listed company's value as the true cost of the experiment begins to come into focus.

Trading in the company's shares on the Tel Aviv stock exchange had to be halted and the stock closed down more than 30 per cent on Sunday.

The fallout stretches beyond that, however,

Spacecom is in the middle of being sold to a group of Chinese investors, Xinwei Technology, for $285m, but the deal had been awaiting the launch of the Amos 6 satellite, aboard the ill-fated SpaceX rocket. The firm said it hoped the deal would continue.

Read more: SpaceX's Mars mission: Does space travel now belong to the private sector?

The company will, however, be compensated by the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries which manufactured and insured the device, to the tune of $205m. Other insurance on the satellite will also add up to $39m.

The disaster has also put a dent in Facebook's plans to beam internet to remote parts of Africa via Amos 6.

SpaceX, a privately funded company, has not disclosed the insurance it has.

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