Since the earliest days of astronomy, since the time of Galileo, astronomers have shared a single goal — to see more, see farther, see deeper. The Hubble Space Telescope's launch in sped humanity to one of its greatest advances in that journey. Hubble is a telescope that orbits Earth.
Why on Earth would a company offer insurance for space travel?
And space companies need it before they hurtle metal projectiles into the sky. Offering insurance for space flight might seem like an insane business decision. The pool of customers is tiny, and the risk is, well, astronomical.
Having a small pool of customers means dealing with volatility. Yet, it remains a consistently profitable business. A small group of insurance underwriters around the world have racked up expertise that helps the space industry assess risk and write policies.
But a new era of space flight is ushering in drastic changes. A whole new world of risk Private companies are driving down the costs of launch vehicles and satellites, making space travel more common. Satellite coverage in particular is about to get a lot more complicated.
They include discarded rocket boosters dating back to the early days of space flight and tiny pieces of shrapnel from a satellite explosion and a collision. Space is huge, and collisions are rare. It involves potential collisions between active satellites as well.
Satellites can cost a few million dollars on the low end. Without it, the satellite operators would have to write off the satellite as a complete loss, potentially cutting deep into its bottom line. Assessing collision risks is a key piece of what insurers do. Just like in every other field of insurance, the higher the risk is, the higher premiums climb.
And if more collisions do occur, "the insurance market will react and premiums will undoubtedly rise. And other startups and researchers have ambitious plans for devices that may be able to move or de-orbit some of the junk in space. He declined to elaborate. The history of insurance Not all insurance for space flight comes from the private sector.
The US government made the crucial decision three decades ago to cover massive amounts of collateral damage in the event of a disaster during a commercial rocket launch. Jim Cantrell, the CEO of rocket startup Vector and an early SpaceX executive, credits that decision with making it possible for commercial space companies to exist at all.
It was a win-win, Cantrell said. Space flight was no longer considered too risky for the private sector to get involved. Fast forward a few decades, and the United States is home to one of the most successful rocket companies in the world: Insurance underwriters who handle the other policies that rocket companies need for launch are comfortable with SpaceX.
And other players in the launch game have long track records that make their launches easy to assess. New rockets The droves of new space startups amount to a lot of new risks to identify.
Every new rocket that enters the market must be meticulously vetted by insurers and federal regulators. Dozens of new rocket companies have popped up in recent years, and some of them are beginning to enter the market. Rocket Lab, a US-based venture with a launch pad in New Zealand, completed its first successful orbital flight earlier this year.
The majority of startups, including Vector, are planning to introduce small, inexpensive rockets that will launch relatively cheap satellites.
But with less financial risk comes less reward for insurers.What to Do With Dead Bodies in Space. push for manned space expeditions beyond Earth’s orbit for the first time since the end of the . Humans traveling beyond the protection of Earth's atmosphere and magnetic field risk radiation-caused cancers and other diseases.
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A Recommended Summer Read from The Verge and io9 A Recommended June Read from Hello Giggles and regardbouddhiste.com When the world ends. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products.
START HERE IF YOU KNOW WHAT SUBGENRE CATEGORY YOU LIKE ALIENS ON EARTH: they came from outer space ALTERNATE WORLDS: history might have happened differently ANTIGRAVITY: what goes up may not come down BAMBI'S CHILDREN: animals who speak, think, or act human BEAM ME UP: matter transmission, techno-teleportation BEYOND THE FIELDS WE KNOW: magical world .
Slipstream space, slipspace, subspace, or Shaw-Fujikawa space refers to the eleven non-visible infinitesimal dimensions used for faster-than-light travel.
Making a transition from one place to another via slipspace is known as a "slip" or "jump." Slipspace is a hyper-compressed multidimensional.