Smallsats and small rockets fail more often than larger satellites and bigger vehicles, insurers say

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — Space insurers said they will continue to back new satellite and launcher technologies but cannot ignore the fact that smallsats fail more often than larger satellites, and small launchers more often than medium- and heavy-lift vehicles.

Insurers follow the market where it leads, and right now small satellites are where the growth is, forcing space underwriters to write policies for them or sit on the sidelines at a time when their heritage business is stagnating. The can only hope that with a higher percentage of smallsat launches devoted to commercial projects . . .

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