Shares in some satellite companies fall after Falcon 9 explosion
WASHINGTON — Shares in some satellite operators who were customers of SpaceX fell sharply Sept. 1 after a Falcon 9 rocket was destroyed in a launch pad incident.
Hardest hit was Israeli operator Spacecom, whose Amos-6 satellite, slated for launch Sept. 3, was destroyed in the explosion. Shares in the company dropped more than nine percent near the end of the trading day at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, but rebounded slightly in after-hours trading.
Shares in Iridium, who was scheduled to launch its first ten Iridium Next satellites on a Falcon 9 later in September, also fell in trading on the Nasdaq exchange. Shares initially fell nearly five percent in early trading, minutes after the pad incident. Shared rebounded slightly before falling again later in the morning, hitting new lows by midday.
SES, which had hoped to launch its SES-10 and SES-11 satellites on Falcon 9 launches before the end of the year, saw its share price decline late in day on the Euronext exchange after the explosion. However, shares still closed higher for the day based on gains earlier in the day.
Another SpaceX customer, EchoStar, has not been adversely affected by the Falcon 9 explosion. Shares in the company were up more than one percent in midday trading on Nasdaq. EchoStar had planned to launch its EchoStar-23 satellite on a Falcon 9 as soon as October, and was partnered with SES on the SES-11 satellite.
Facebook, the social networking company that leased capacity on Amos-6 satellite to provide Internet access to regions of sub-Saharan Africa, fell slightly in early trading on Nasdaq, but rose later in the morning and, at midday, were up slightly for the day overall.