JERUSALEM, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- An Israeli communications satellite has been successfully launched from Florida, Spacecom, the company that operates the satellite, announced on Wednesday.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted the satellite, Amos-17, into space on Wednesday from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Spacecom said in a statement sent to Xinhua.
Amos-17 was deployed some 33 minutes after liftoff, Sapcecom said. It maintains constant contact with the ground station and started its three-week journey towards its designated orbit in space.
Upon arrival, a series of three-month-long checks would begin before the satellite could become operational.
The 250-million U.S. dollars satellite is expected to provide communications services to Africa, the Middle East, and Europe through the next 15 years.
Israeli Communication Minister David Amsalem hailed the successful launched as "an Israeli pride."
"It strengthens Israel's international position in the field of communications satellites," he wrote on Facebook.
The launch came amidst weather concerns over a lightning storm and heavy clouds.
In 2016, Spacecom lost Amos-6 after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launchpad.