The Falcon 9 rocket, complete with the Amos 6 payload, just blew up (Or RUDed) on the launch pad. I believe the standard language for most launch insurances is that it is only covered after "Intentional launch" of the vehicle, specifically limiting incidences like that which occurred this morning. Was Amos 6 insured, and how are such issues typically managed?


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Rewriting with clarification, I apparently misinterpreted the second tweet. Source still is this twitter feed (from a spacenews.com reporter).

The launch insurance doesn't count:

SpaceX explosion didnt involve intentional ignition - E Musk said occurred during 2d stage fueling - & isn't covered by launch insurance. (tweet)

However, the satellite was insured under a different policy until launch:

Spacecom insured Amos-6 for $285M in marine cargo market, not space insurance market. Launch +1 yr policy would kick in at rocket ignition. (tweet)

@cbs_spacenews Sat was insured as marine cargo for pre-launch phase. Launch policy didn't kick in because no ignition-w/-intent-to-launch. (tweet)

Verdict appears to be that the satellite was insured (and that reporting with clarity via twitter is hard, the repeated focus on launch insurance is misleading).

  • $\begingroup$ Why do they "test" the first stage with the payload onboard?? It kind of doubles the risk of losing the payload at launch, since it has to endure two launch attempts. Why would anyone want to insure such a thing? $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ @LocalFluff That's another question entirely. As for why they insure it, it's because there is so rarely a problem with pre-launch operations. $\endgroup$
    – PearsonArtPhoto
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ @PearsonArtPhoto If it is so rare, why do they test for it? How does putting the payload at stake during a "test" launch lower the insurance premium? If I were the insurer, I'd instead rather double it for the payload. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ Catastrophic issues are rare. Non-catastrophic issues are common. I think almost every static fire test for Falcon 9 of the first 5-6 revealed something wrong, that had to be addressed prior to launch. The payload is insured through their own policy prior to launch, I doubt the rocket has such a policy. $\endgroup$
    – PearsonArtPhoto
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 12:47
  • $\begingroup$ @LocalFluff see space.stackexchange.com/q/18020/4660 $\endgroup$
    – kim holder
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 14:31

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