Plaintiffs ride free!
I'm pretty sure Musk would not have a problem with a free flight. Not going to be enough tho.
Battered by the loss of its satellite in last week's SpaceX earth-shattering kaboom, Israeli company Spacecom wants Elon Musk's launch company to part with cash or a free flight. The Amos-6 satellite fried in the disaster was intended to provide broadband coverage of Africa, with Facebook and Eutelsat among its intended …
The thing is FB can be used for more than just selfies and school photos. Many small local groups can be set up to buy,sell,exchange things and service requests and so on. Surprisingly they kinda work better than other customised web sites. FB is actually really useful for this sort of thing (and you dont know how much I hate to say that) but I can imagine it being really really fucking useful for the people who could have had this - especially if the they can get FBP or equivalent too!
I'm having a hard time imagining that liability isn't strictly determined by the contract, especially in a business as inherently expensive and risky as launching satellites. If Spacecom is whining about it in a press conference, I'm guessing they don't have a legal leg to stand on.
"If Spacecom is whining about it in a press conference, I'm guessing they don't have a legal leg to stand on."
Agree, but publicly whinging about the service might bring about a free flight none-the-less, because it looks good to keep clients happy. Even if they guess a 10% chance of that happening, when the flight is $50M, that's a $5M statement right there.
Of course, this is Elon Musk sitting opposite, who has more successful or trending-successful start-ups than 99.99% of the rest of us. Re-negotiated flight cost for repeat business - can see that. Free flight - not bloody likely.
> ...hard time imagining that liability isn't strictly determined by the contract...
Quite. I'm also having some difficulty imagining that, at no point during any of the concerned parties activities, did "that's what insurance is for" occur to anyone.
Sounds to me like some shyster is trying to use the "bad publicity" stick to extort a free ride... rather amusingly literally.
"Or the insurance only covered the launch, not the pre-launch tests."
that's the kind of fine print and careful l[aw]yering I'd expect from an insurance company...
meanwhile, has anyone figured out what caused the problems? Did it START within the payload part of the rocket? Was it POSSIBLY caused by the PAYLOAD, and NOT the launch vehicle?
Inquiring minds want to know!
Life insurance doesn't pay out for suicides. What about rocket insurance when the payload itself blows the whole thing up on the launch pad? Maybe SpaceX will be asking for a few $million to cover launch pad repairs and cost of the rocket+fuel due to a FAULTY PAYLOAD???
I'm having a hard time imagining that liability isn't strictly determined by the contract, especially in a business as inherently expensive and risky as launching satellites
I read elsewhere that in these sorts of complex contracts (especially where you have multiple underwriters and the like), it's actually part of the contract to lodge a lawsuit early to head off other lawsuits down the road - it's basically a de rigeur part of the claim process. You've clearly got the claim down and there can't be quibbling down the road because a court has seen the initial claim.
IANAL, and I have not seen SpaceCom's insurance policy, but it seemed this was a standard move - of course a bit of public posturing is never a bad thing, but I wouldn't expect to pay for a flight if the operator set it on fire before launch - either get me a new rocket or give me a refund.
Nah. These checks were an essential precursor to launching, the insurance company would get laughed out of court trying to evade.
Loads of satellites get destroyed before reaching orbit, the insurance for them is pretty mature these days.
If this one was not /adequately/ insured that is the client's fault, not SpaceX. Bluster and Bullshit
Not always - sometimes the premiums are so high (due to the risk - oddly enough) that companies decide to go without and make that gamble themselves. But usually though just for the first flight or two of a new design of rocket, etc, where the risk is high/unknown.
Doing a pre-launch test burn, especially with the payload attached is not the way other companies launch satellites. Everyone tests the rocket once it's built, but only SpaceX follow up their tests in Texas (where the rocket is assembled), with a test burn on the launchpad with the payload attached.
As to why they perform a test burn with the payload attached, it's mainly to save time. Apparently it's also optional.
So, Spacecom may feel that they have grounds that SpaceX were doing something unusually risky. However, if having the payload attached is an optional part of the test, you can bet that somewhere there's a signature from someone at Spacecom agreeing to it.
"What is there to explode—I mean... to 'fast fire'?"
the propellant stored within the payload, maybe?
also worth pointing out, a launch pad test burn like this simulates what will happen during the actual launch. It hadn't even lit off the engines yet. If high levels of O2 around the payload were the cause [this is a normal pre-flight condition], then the test fire isn't the reason for the rocket-shattering kaboom. What if the payload were leaking hydrazine [or some other such volatile fuel]? THAT might have been it... hydrazine vapors contacting the O2 in sufficient concentration, spontaneously combusting. oops.
yeah no open flames while fueling
It's clearly an act of sabotage, who pays for that? Check the video. 4 or 5 frames right around where the explosion starts, something black comes racing in from the right and exits left just as the flame flares up. So if this was intentional, who pays???
Because never mind "Aliens" (as some conspiracy nuts have latched onto) this has all the hallmarks of an industrial or state-sponsored run:
Chinese company wants to buy Israeli space company.
Predicate this purchase on a successful launch.
Mysterious object seen nearby at same time as mysterious "during fuelling" anomaly event causes the thing to blow up.
40% (40%!) wiped off Israeli company's share value, SpaceX, basically the world's current premiere private launch company, once again have their momentum slowed.
I'm not saying these types of things *can't* happen by accident. I'm just saying there are about 250 million good reasons for someone to take out the launchcraft. Keep your eye on Spacecom share sales, because if this *was* a run, they would be snapped up by various "entirely unconnected" organisations/companies that aren't anything like as unconnected as the public paper trail might suggest, who would at the very least proxy the shares into the hands of a single representative agent.
Of course, if I'm right, I'll probably also be dead in about 24 hours. /sigh. I should keep my mouth shut really.
So this is when Agile methodology meets engineering of critical systems? Never mind, just have a scrum, look at your backlog, write a new user story.
"As an owner of the satellite, I want the rocket not to explode during the next test, so that I will not lose my satellite."
Anon, for I work at an agile sw dev company.
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