December 7, 2019

Photos: Amos 17 satellite encapsulated for launch


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The Amos 17 satellite during encapsulation inside the Falcon 9 payload fairing. Credit: Spacecom Ltd. / SpaceX

These photos show the enclosure of the Boeing-built Amos 17 commercial communications satellite, owned by the Tel Aviv-based operator Spacecom Ltd., ahead of liftoff aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral.

Ground crews from SpaceX and Boeing encapsulated the Amos 17 spacecraft inside the Falcon 9 rocket’s payload shroud in July at a payload processing facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, before moving the satellite to the Falcon 9’s hangar at launch pad 40, where technicians installed it on the launch vehicle.

Based on the Boeing 702 satellite platform, Amos 17 is owned by the Israeli company Spacecom Ltd. The Amos 17 satellite will provide C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band communications services over Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

The Amos 17 satellite during encapsulation inside the Falcon 9 payload fairing. Credit: Spacecom Ltd. / SpaceX

The satellite weighs about 14,330 pounds (6.5 metric tons) at launch. More than half of Amos 17’s mass at liftoff is propellant, which the spacecraft will consume with its on-board engine to circularize its orbit more than 22,000 miles over the equator, where it will park at 17 degrees east longitude. In geostationary orbit, Amos 17’s orbital velocity will match the rate of Earth’s rotation, giving the satellite a fixed geographic coverage area.

Amos 17 will extend its solar panels to a span of 114 feet (35 meters), and deploy multiple antennas to undergo testing before beginning commercial service later this year.

Spacecom says says Amos 17 is designed for a 20-year lifetime, and the mission carries a cost of about $250 million, including the spacecraft, launch services and insurance.

The Amos 17 satellite during encapsulation inside the Falcon 9 payload fairing. Credit: Spacecom Ltd. / SpaceX
The Amos 17 satellite during encapsulation inside the Falcon 9 payload fairing. Credit: Spacecom Ltd. / SpaceX
The Amos 17 satellite during encapsulation inside the Falcon 9 payload fairing. Credit: Spacecom Ltd. / SpaceX
The Amos 17 satellite during encapsulation inside the Falcon 9 payload fairing. Credit: Spacecom Ltd. / SpaceX

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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