Spanish GEO satellite operator Hispasat secured a launch contract with SpaceX on 21 June. The mission will utilise a Falcon 9 vehicle and is intended to launch in time for the new Amazonas Nexus satellite to replace the older Amazonas-2 retiring in 2024. The contract is valued at US$80.7 million and has been secured with support from an institution that may have been lost to legend in the space industry.
The US Export-Import (EXIM) bank has made its return to the stage with this financing. Its last “satellite-related” export was in 2015 before it was forced to pause such large transactions due to politics preventing it from forming a required board quorum.
An unfortunate poster-boy for the suspension of EXIM activities was the planned ABS-8, GEO satellite. This unit was ordered from Boeing by small private operator ABS in 2015. However, ABS was forced to cancel the contract soon afterwards due to being unable to secure the required funding from EXIM.