The U.S. Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has authorized a $105.4 million loan to Space Communication Ltd. of Ramat Gan, Israel, to finance the launch of their Amos-6 communications satellite aboard a U.S. rocket, bank officials announced on Friday. Amos-6 will be launched into orbit aboard a U.S. rocket provided by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif.
“The transaction is Ex-Im Bank's third in support of a SpaceX launch,” officials said in a press release. “In June, Ex-Im Bank announced that it had approved financing for the launches of two satellites manufactured by Space Systems/Loral LLC, and in November the bank announced that it had approved financing for the launches of two Boeing-manufactured satellites.
“Just three years ago, satellites accounted for only $50 million in authorizations per year. This year numbers as the third consecutive year in which Ex-Im Bank's satellite sector authorizations will have topped $1 billion.”
Amos-6 will replace Space Communication's Amos-2 satellite and provide communications services in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. “The satellite will also provide pan-European coverage and broadband services in Europe and Africa,” the bank said. “The launch is scheduled for 2015.”
"With export financing for contracts like the Amos-6 mission, Ex-Im Bank helps SpaceX compete successfully with international launch service providers, bringing overseas satellite launch business and high-tech jobs back to American soil," said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and chief operating officer.
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