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.
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"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.
SpaceX has reportedly reacted to an open letter requesting accountability for Elon Musk by firing those involved.
The alleged dismissals come just two days after an open letter to SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell began circulating in a SpaceX Teams channel. The missive from employees said Musk's recent actions have been a source of distraction and embarrassment for SpaceX staff.
The letter asked for the company to "swiftly and explicitly separate itself" from Musk's personal brand, hold all leadership accountable for their actions, and asked that SpaceX clearly define what behaviors it considers unacceptable. The authors also said the company failed to apply its stated diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, "resulting in a workplace culture that remains firmly rooted in the status quo."
SpaceX is one step closer to securing a permit to launch not just its first rocket from Boca Chica, Texas but its reusable super-heavy lifter at that.
And by one step closer, we mean: the US Federal Aviation Administration has issued more than 75 requirements for SpaceX to fulfill, which are aimed at minimizing the environmental impact of its launches on residents and wildlife.
Those requirements [PDF], made public Monday by the watchdog, list a series of concerns and actions SpaceX needs to take before it can hope to get the green light to use Boca Chica as intended. The FAA wants SpaceX to complete this environmental review and mitigate the effects of repeatedly launching and landing its giant reusable 120-metre Starship on the air, water, climate, peace and quiet, and land around the launchpad.
A group of employees at SpaceX wrote an open letter to COO and president Gwynne Shotwell denouncing owner Elon Musk's public behavior and calling for the rocket company to "swiftly and explicitly separate itself" from his personal brand.
The letter, which was acquired through anonymous SpaceX sources, calls Musk's recent behavior in the public sphere a source of distraction and embarrassment. Musk's tweets, the writers argue, are de facto company statements because "Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX."
Musk's freewheeling tweets have landed him in hot water on multiple occasions – one incident even leaving him unable to tweet about Tesla without a lawyer's review and approval.
A letter has been filed with America's communications watchdog confirming that SpaceX and OneWeb, which are building mega-constellations of broadband satellites, are content to play nicely.
The letter sweeps all the unpleasantness between the two neatly under the rug "after extensive good-faith coordination discussions." Despite what could charitably be described as snarky remarks about each other to the FCC over the years, the duo have agreed that their first-generation broadband satellite services can, after all, co-exist.
"Their respective second-round systems can also efficiently coexist with each other while protecting their respective first-round systems," the memo, dated June 13 and shared by Reuters' journo Joey Roulette today, reads.
If the proposed addition of the 12GHz spectrum to 5G goes forward, Starlink broadband terminals across America could be crippled, or so SpaceX has complained.
The Elon Musk biz made the claim [PDF] this week in a filing to the FCC, which is considering allowing Dish to operate a 5G service in the 12GHz band (12.2-12.7GHz). This frequency range is also used by Starlink and others to provide over-the-air satellite internet connectivity.
SpaceX said its own in-house study, conducted in Las Vegas, showed "harmful interference from terrestrial mobile service to SpaceX's Starlink terminals … more than 77 percent of the time, resulting in full outages 74 percent of the time." It also claimed the interference will extend to a minimum of 13 miles from base stations. In other words, if Dish gets to use these frequencies in the US, it'll render nearby Starlink terminals useless through wireless interference, it was claimed.
Twitter has reportedly thrown its $44 billion buyout by Elon Musk to a shareholder vote, which could take place around late July or early August.
Execs told employees of the plans on Wednesday, according to outlets including CNBC and the Financial Times.
In a report published earlier this week, the Secure World Foundation, a space-oriented NGO, warned that in the past few years there's been a surge of interest in offensive counterspace weapons that can disrupt space-based services.
"The existence of counterspace capabilities is not new, but the circumstances surrounding them are," the report [PDF] says. "Today there are increased incentives for development, and potential use, of offensive counterspace capabilities."
"There are also greater potential consequences from their widespread use that could have global repercussions well beyond the military, as huge parts of the global economy and society are increasingly reliant on space applications."
Elon Musk must personally secure $33.5 billion to fund his $44 billion Twitter purchase after allowing a $12.5 billion margin loan against Tesla stock to expire.
Regulatory filings released Wednesday show the Tesla and SpaceX boss agreeing to secure "an additional $6.25 billion in equity financing" on top of the original $27.3 billion.
The Tesla boss's Twitter purchase originally relied on $21bn of equity that he had to provide along with $12.5bn in margin loans secured by his Tesla stock. That margin loan was dropped to $6.25bn on May 5, and this additional financing would eliminate it altogether.
Starlink customers who've been itching to take their dish on the road can finally do so – for a price.
The Musk-owned satellite internet service provider quietly rolled out a feature this week called Portability which, for an additional $25 per month, will allow customers to take their service with them anywhere on the same continent – provided they can find a clear line-of-sight to the sky and the necessary power needed to keep the data flowing.
That doesn't mean potential Starlink customers sign up for service in an area without a wait list and take their satellite to a more congested area. Sneaky, but you won't get away with it. If Starlink detects a dish isn't at its home address, there's no guarantee of service if there's not enough bandwidth to go around, or there's another outage.
Space launch contender Rocket Lab has successfully demonstrated its peculiar method of capturing spent rocket boosters so they can be re-used: catching them with a helicopter as they fall.
The outfit planned to make the catch on April 29, but bad weather delayed the mission.
The skies cleared today and the mission – dubbed “There and back again” – sent 34 satellites aloft after launching from New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula. The Electron booster used for the launch then returned to Earth beneath a parachute.
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