SpaceX now faces a multi-million dollar problem after the launchpad explosion of the AMOS-6 satellite, during a routine pre-launch test firing last Thursday.

In the wake of the incident, Spacecom, the satellite's owner, is demanding a $50 million compensation or a free flight from SpaceXaccounting for the potential equity decline of about $30 million to $123 million after a 34% drop in the company's shares since.

US Launch Report

AMOS-6 was to be used by a number of clients, including Facebook and Eutelsat Communications which leased the satellite’s broadband services to expand internet access in Africa.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s C.E.O., had this to say about the incident:

“I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent."

Zuckerberg's disappointed dad speech isn't the only thing keeping Elon Musk up at night. According to Scott Pace, the director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University:

“No doubt SpaceX will fix the problems, but if you’re a customer time is money...This will get customers looking at alternatives. It may give competitors an opening and slow down SpaceX.”

With a total of about 70 missions on its manifest valued at $10 billion, SpaceX has its hands full with speculations and reliability issues. Waiting for the incident investigation results will surely be a long one.

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