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Insurance crunch for upcoming Soyuz rocket launches ironed out, Roscosmos CEO says

November 01, 2018, 17:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Glonass space vehicle that will be launched on November 3 was insured long ago, Rogozin said, adding that the decision on insuring the carrier rocket was made several weeks before the launch

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© Sergei Medvedev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. The launch of Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the Glonass space vehicle planned for November 3, has been insured, Head of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said in an interview with TASS. The launch of the cargo spacecraft Progress MS-10 on November 16 will also be insured, he added.

"The launch on November 3 has already been insured as I personally interfered in the situation, having realized that my colleagues cannot solve the problem. I talked with heads of financial structures, explained the situation, and we solved the problem. The launch on November 16 will also be insured," he noted.

The Glonass space vehicle that will be launched on November 3 was insured long ago, Rogozin said, adding that the decision on insuring the carrier rocket was made several weeks before the launch. He did not specify whether the issue is about general liability insurance or property risks, neither did he say which company and under what terms insured the launch.

Vice-President of Ingosstrakh Insurance Company Alexander Podchufarov earlier said in an interview with TASS that Ingosstrakh and Sogaz had hammered out an ‘urgent’ proposal for Roscosmos to insure the launch of Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the Glonass space vehicle planned for November 3, given the lack of insurers’ bids. He said that Roscosmos has no time for conducting another tendering procedure on property insurance. It was unveiled that there were no bids on insuring the rocket itself on Tuesday, October 30. The proposal was to insure the launch for 2.1 bln rubles ($31.9 mln), while the initial (maximum) contract price was set at 178.1 mln rubles ($2.7 mln). Having negotiated the issue with Western reinsurers, Ingosstrakh and Sogaz offered to insure the launch at a 9.6% rate, which is equivalent to an insurance payment of 201.1 mln rubles ($3 mln).

Earlier reports said that insurers had not filed any bids for an open tender to insure the risks of launching the Soyuz-FG booster with the Progress MS-10 resupply ship to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome scheduled for November 16.

Soyuz aborted launch

A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with a manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft blasted off from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome to the International Space Station (ISS) on October 11. On board the spacecraft were veteran Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague, who was making his first space mission.

Following liftoff, the Soyuz’s booster malfunctioned between the first and second stages of separating, whereupon the crew was forced to abort the flight and switch to ballistic descent. The manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft ended up landing in the Kazakh steppe. That was the first emergency landing with this type of carrier rocket over the past 35 years.

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