In a fresh report from The Jerusalem Post, authored by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, less than half the amount needed to build and operate the Amos-8 communications satellite has been collected by the government to replace the ill-fated Amos-6 satellite that exploded at launch from Cape Canaveral in 2016.
“The state has decided to destroy the satellite communications industry, even though it’s a national need,” said Likud MK Yoav Kisch, the chairman of the Knesset Science and Technology’s subcommittee on space affairs, at a recent meeting. “I don’t see a solution right now. I would be surprised if there was a solution within two weeks. With the explosion of Amos-6, the Israeli communications satellite industry has also exploded. The government ministries, the communications industry and the Israel Aerospace Industries need to reach an agreement on funding in the next two weeks. In my opinion, this will not happen.”
In a follow-up discussion on the future of communications satellites in Israel, it emerged that a lack of funding led to the rental of a foreign-made satellite, named Amos-7, at a cost of tens of millions of shekels. This is expected to lead to the shelving of the Amos-8 project, Kisch said, adding that are only two weeks to meet the deadline for getting the budget, and I don’t see it happening. "The project will remain on paper,” he said.
Kisch continued, “Unfortunately, we have been discussing the subject for a year and a half since the Amos-6 explosion. We are here to see how the communications satellite industry in Israel forges ahead.”