Lawmakers Discuss Renewing FAA Space Launch Insurance
By Jen DiMascio
Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
June 07, 2012What happens if a commercial space launch vehicle explodes upon takeoff?
The FAA’s “indemnification program” allows the government to share the cost with industry against injuries or property damage in such a potential disaster. Although that kind of insurance has not been used in more than 200 launches, the current program expires at the end of the year. So during a House Science space and aeronautics subcommittee hearing on June 6, lawmakers considered whether to extend the program, by how much and for how long.
The program authorizes the government to ask Congress for $2.7 billion to cover such damages; companies have to pick up the tab for any additional costs.
China, France and Russia provide no upper limit on their coverage, according to Alicia Cackley of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Risk-modeling experts told GAO the calculations driving FAA’s current coverage are outdated.
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