rocket managed to explode
in a static fire test (igniting the rocket but still keeping it motionless in the launch pad). Usually such test is conducted without the rocket's payload. But SpaceX wanted to tighten the schedule and have only two days between the test and the launch.
The payload of the rocket was the #Amos-6
satellite by the Israeli satellites company Spacecom. This is its second setback in less than a year: In November 2015 its control room lost contact
which was launched in 2-11 and was due to be used until 2027. This has followed three previous issues found
(Hebrew) in Amos-5 post-launch.Spacecom
was originally spun off from Israel Aerospace Industries
(a government-owned company). IAI, among other lines of products, has built both military satellites (Ofeq
) and communication satellites (Amos
). SpaceCom was spun off to market the capacity of the first Amos satellite. As of the second one, it became the owner and operator of the satellite. As of 2005 it is a publicly-traded company and no longer owned in any part by IAI. IAI has manufactured all of the Amos satellites, with the exception of Amos-5. Thus there is a small comfort fot IAI in that its reputation is still left untarnished by those two recent issues.
Initially Amos satellites targeted the Middle East. However companies in neighbouring Arab countries didn't want to get any services from it (which only left Israel and Cyprus viewers as potential clients): Amos-5 towards Africa and Amos-4 towards South-East Asia.
An explosion has rocked the SpaceX launch site in Florida.