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AMOS-7 to provide communications capabilities for MARS planetary space analog mission

(29 January 2018 - Spacecom) Spacecom, the operator of the AMOS satellite fleet, together with the D-MARS Desert Mars Analog Ramon Station, today announced a joint experiment whereby the AMOS-7 satellite will provide communication links for analog astronauts located in a specially constructed simulated Mars habitat located near the remote Ramon Crater, Israel to an off-base operations and control center.

The purpose of this international experiment conducted with the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF), will be to further test aspects of long range interplanetary space communications as well as examine challenges and issues that arise from manned planetary missions.

The D-MARS space analog center will simulate the conditions of a real Mars scientific exploration mission to better understand the experiences of analog astronauts and find solutions for challenges that could occur. Located in the harsh desert environment near the Ramon Crater in Southern Israel that holds similarities to the Martian environment in its geology, aridity and isolation, D-MARS goal is to promote the space sector, science and technology in Israel, by creating infrastructure for academic research, technological development and educational programs.

Hillel Rubenstein, D-MARS project manager stated, "The D-MARS project pulls Israel to the forefront of space, and particularly Mars, exploration. With the AMOS-7 satellite, we are adding an interplanetary-type communications facet to our experiments by simulating various challenges for our analog astronauts to handle and overcome. This is an amazing opportunity, and made even more so by our cooperation with Austria's OeWF which will be conducting a simultaneous analog experiment in collaboration with ours in Israel."

David Pollack, Spacecom president & CEO, remarked, "Spacecom is excited by this opportunity to bring our team's skill sets and expertise to the D-MARS experience. As we look towards the future, it is our duty to nurture the next generation of outer-space specialists and prepare them to engage a new world. AMOS-7 will play an important role in furthering their knowledge of space-based communications."

About D-MARS

D-MARS, a specially constructed simulated Mars habitat located in the remote desert site near the Ramon Crater, Israel, provides a unique space for analog space exploration due to its similarities to the Martian environment in its geology, aridity and isolation. The center's analog mission will simulate missions to Mars or to other planets. Analog astronauts, termed “Ramonauts,” will live as real astronauts with daily routines, food and communication to be the same as expected during real planetary missions, including wearing a space suit when going outside the physical habitat.

Establishing a space analog mission in the Negev, in the south of Israel, will put the country at the forefront of space exploration and contribute to the economy, community, technology and education of Israel as a whole.

About Spacecom

Spacecom (Space-Communication Ltd.), operator of the AMOS-7 and AMOS-3 satellites co-located at 4°W, and AMOS-4 at 65°E, provides high-quality broadcast and communication services to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia via direct-to-home (DTH) and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) operators, Internet service providers (ISPs), telecom operators, network integrators and government agencies.

With the planned addition in 2019 of AMOS-17 at 17°E, Spacecom will further expand its reach reinforcing its position as a leading multi-regional satellite operator.