Israeli President Reuven Rivlin thanked those involved for their “important work for the State of Israel” and described the launch as a “morning full of pride”.
Israeli company Spacecom, which designed the firm’s newest and “most advanced” satellite, said the launch had been postponed by a week due to a suspected faulty valve noticed during the testing of the rocket. The Ramat Gan-based company is a supplier of satellite services to satellite TV operators, internet and telephone providers, governments and private data companies.
The satellite’s purpose is to provide services to Africa, in order to meet its increased demand due to the recent exponential increase of households with access to digital TV, coupled with its large youth population.
According to Eran Shapiro, Director of Business and Technology Ventures at Spacecom, the Amos-17 will be the first over Africa that provides C-band frequencies, which allow a wider availability of services.
The Amos-17 cost $250 million to create and weighs over 6 tonnes due to the amount of fuel it will be required to carry to reach its desired spot over Africa.
Amos-17 has the ability to revolutionise the continent’s technology and help aid Africa’s inadequate internet access infrastructure.
A previous Spacecom satellite, Amos-6, exploded in September 2016 whilst mounted on the launchpad of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.