April 28, 2008
The MBT Space Division of Israel Aerospace Industries successfully launches the Amos-3 satellite from Kazakhstan five days after the originally scheduled launch date, a delay caused by a mechanical problem with the launching device. Eighty minutes after its morning launch, Israel’s most advanced communications satellite reaches orbit. In a few months, Amos-3 will be moved into geostationary orbit, replacing the 12-year-old Amos-1 and joining Amos-2, which has a planned life of eight more years. The name of the Amos series comes from the IAI-developed AMOS (Affordable Modular Optimized Satellite) platform.
Costing about $170 million and requiring 2½ years to complete, Amos-3 contains four broadcast antennas and provides communications services, mostly involving video, to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the U.S. East Coast. Operated by Spacecom, the satellite offers increased speed, capacity, coverage and overall function.
IAI launches the larger Amos-4, providing coverage across Asia, on Aug. 31, 2013. Amos-5, developed by Russian company Reshetnev instead of IAI, is launched Dec. 11, 2011, but suffers problems in 2012 and loses all communication with Earth in November 2015. Its replacement, Amos-17, is launched Aug. 9, 2019, to cover Africa, as well as the Middle East and Europe.
IAI’s Amos-6, meant to replace Amos-2, is destroyed by a launchpad explosion Sept. 1, 2016, at Cape Canaveral, Florida.