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Risks and Opportunities As Space Becomes More Accessible

A view of a SpaceX satellite from behind orbiting the curve of the Earth

Marsh’s Risk in Context podcast series helps listeners better understand key risks, build more effective insurance programs and think creatively about risk and resilience.

As access to space becomes more affordable, more companies are entering the space race. But this increased access also brings new risks. Adam Sturmer, Stephen Monks, and Neil Stevens, from Marsh Specialty Space Projects, discuss the opportunities of a more accessible space as well as the risks and insurance considerations that organizations investing in space need to keep in mind.

On decreased costs to access space:

It’s got to a point where the launch costs and costs to orbit are so low that business models can change. People can now get some technology, launch it as a technology demonstrator to check that it works, and build a business around that. Technology is driving the future of how we are going to be connecting and working with space going forward.” — Adam Sturmer

On new opportunities in space:

“The cost to access space has come down so much, probably in about the last five or six years specifically. So it makes it more accessible for a larger group of entities to be able to go and do things that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do on Earth. One good example of that is manufacturing in space. You can’t create near-zero-gravity conditions on the earth.” — Neil Stevens

On the importance of robust insurance policies:

Unlike many other areas of insurance, if there’s some sort of loss on a satellite, you can’t send loss adjusters or surveyors into space to inspect the damage, and you can’t repair the satellite. … The policy has to stand alone and be able to define and quantify the loss and support an insurance claim if there is some sort of failure of the satellite.” — Stephen Monks

On the need to address the challenge of space debris:

Something needs to be done in terms of addressing the debris issue. We want people to act like good citizens, so perhaps it’s time for an extension of the Liability Convention. … Perhaps it’s time for a refresh of that and an additional protocol added to that to deal with space debris.” — Neil Stevens

Adam Sturmer

Global Head of Sales for Marsh Specialty Space Projects

Based in London, Adam Sturmer works with satellite operators, launch service providers, satellite manufacturers, and others to provide space risk management and insurance placement services and the delivery of fully tailored risk and insurance solutions.

Stephen Monks

Managing Director for Marsh Specialty Space Projects

Stephen Monks is responsible for the overall management of the London space team, coordinates all of Marsh Specialty’s activities on technical and insurance coverage, and advises clients on a wide variety of technical and insurance coverage issues.

Neil Stevens

Space law specialist for Marsh Specialty Space Projects

Neil Stevens is a trained lawyer and commercial contracts expert. He is a space law specialist and has extensive experience in space insurance. Neil has advised governments and national and international space agencies.

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