Insurance: Taking a Bath in Space

Taking a Bath in Space

"This is the greatest disaster in the history of commercial space technology." So last week said a stunned James Barrett, president of Washington-based International Technology Underwriters, a major insurer of space satellites. Barrett's remark was prompted by the unprecedented loss of three new communications satellites in a week. Estimated value of the three, insured by INTEC and other companies: $250 million.

The first casualty was a Hughes Aircraft-built LEASAT 4 satellite, which began to malfunction, apparently because of a faulty transmission cable, about one week after it popped perfectly out of the cargo bay of the space shuttle Discovery on Aug....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!