SpaceX May Owe Satellite Owner Free Flight After Blast
Either that or $50M
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 4, 2016 2:23 PM CDT
Smoke rises from a SpaceX launch site Thursday at Cape Canaveral, Fla.   (AP Photo/Marcia Dunn)

(Newser) – Facebook isn't the only company smarting after last week's explosion of a SpaceX rocket on the launchpad. The Israeli company that owned the satellite destroyed in the fire may seek either $50 million or a free flight as compensation, reports Reuters. The loss of the AMOS-6 satellite is a huge blow to Israel Space Communication: It reduces the company's equity by $30 million to $123 million and may jeopardize a planned merger with a Beijing company. As for Facebook, it hoped to use the satellite to expand access to the internet in Africa, though the New Yorker reports those plans aren't dead yet. Facebook, for instance, has had success in experiments with autonomous aircraft that could accomplish the same feat. There's still no word on what caused the explosion.