"Spacecom demanded at least a free ride by way of compensation, ..."
Isn't this situation covered by the contracts and insurance?
Spacecom and SpaceX have settled their differences over a burned satellite. The Israeli company has once again signed Elon Musk's company for launch services. Spacecom has told the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange it expects to use SpaceX for a launch in 2019, and possibly a further launch in 2020. Their relationship looked doomed …
The explosion happened while loading propellants before the static test fire before launch. As no intentional ignition had been triggered the bill for replacing the payload landed on Israel Aerospace Industries' insurer. AFAIK the exact details of the contract between Spacecom and SpaceX have not been released. Both lost plenty, and presumably each had some kind of insurance but apparently not enough to cover everything that burned on SLC40.
(The next launch is on the 30th. Falcon heavy demo has been delayed from "November" until "late 2017". The rocket is ready, but launch pad 39a isn't in part because it has been needed for launches while SLC40 gets repaired.)
As Flocke Kroes says, the issue here is that it's wasn't a launch accident (which is covered by insurance), it was something that happened before launch, so the insurance got tricky.
Still, it's good to know that all insurance companies are bastards, whether you're insuring your car or a space rocket.
At the time it was said that the contract gave SpaceCom the option of either a free launch, or $50m to go towards a launch with another provider. It now sounds like that $50m was actually a deposit, so they would have been getting their own money back. The normal list price for a SpaceX launch is $62m, so I guess they've saved $12m or so. (Offset against the cost of renting space from someone else's satellite until their new bird gets up.) The insurer carried the loss of the satellite, and SpaceX carried the loss of vehicle and damage to pad.
"Write 100 times :
“I must not split infinitives.”"
Most English style and usage guides as well as dictionaries no longer require, and in some cases don't even mention, the split infinitive "rule". It was an attempt in the 1800's to make English behave like Latin. And as any kid who's been scolded for using a split infinitive can tell you, it didn't make any sense for English. For the past 20-30 years or so, avoiding split infinitives has only been necessary to get articles published in certain media outlets and to avoid the ire of people who ally themselves with long-dead proscriptive grammarians with a Latin fetish. It's not a rule so much as a grammatical wrong long overdue for righting.
I fear that the comment:
"If all goes well, a reused Falcon 9 will hoist AMOS-6's replacement, AMOS-8, in 2020."
may well come back to haunt them...
Of course, I am hopeful that all goes well, but it might take a bit of persuasion with the insurers if a similar problem arises (that causes the loss of another satellite):
"You've LOST another satellite? - and it was on a second-hand rocket ??"
(And yes I'm mindful that re-furbished Falcon's have been cleared to be re-used).
"No, no Mr Insurer you misunderstand. We were so keen to ensure your client's launch was a success, that we fully tested the first stage by launching another satellite with it."
As amusing as that is, insurers thus far haven't inflated the premiums for re-flown Falcon 9 first stages. The fact that no additional charge is being applied is actually being seen as a pretty significant thumbs up from the insurers on the idea.