London’s space insurers have apparently not had a happy month with high volume customer SES. SES is due to launch its Astra 2G satellite shortly onboard a Proton rocket.
Insurers are said to be not happy with SES proceeding with launch. The trouble is, Proton has had a series of six failures since 2010, ascribed in some quarters to quality control problems. Most recently Express-AM6 was put into the wrong orbit in October and had to consume its excess fuel budget moving to its correct orbit. The Insurers called this a failed launch and wanted a review, but SES and Proton decided not to do this and bulldozed their way through.
The Insurance market’s nerves with Proton Launchers is manifested in a 10% Launch phase premium rate Versus the Ariane rate of of 2.75%.
Insurers are apparently grumbling about the SES launch but are not citing material change clause required to get them off the hook with their second biggest customer.