Space solvency: understanding the minimum financial requirement

🚀AusSpaceLaw⚖️: Recently, a Chinese Long March 5B space rocket uncontrollably crashed into Earth, allegedly leaving debris (up to 12 metres in length) strewn across parts of Africa. The economic cost is currently being worked out.

I have a particular interest in the intersection between space laws and insolvency laws, so upon the reading of the above I thought of how an Aus company might deal with this.

Aus Space Law1

Late last year, we introduced a whole raft of new legislation covering Australian space activities, including rocket launches, operation of launch pads and other activities in space “[Space Act].”

Say, it was an Australian company’s space rocket, what is in place to protect them from financially crippling liabilities?

ANSWER:

We have a two-prong financial requirement under the Space Act – either, you:

1) are insured up to the lesser amount of $100m (AUD) or the Maximum Probable Loss Methodology*; or

2) have sufficient available audited assets to cover the insured amount.

My understanding is that the Gov is then insured for an amount of damage up to $3b (AUD).

Interesting insolvency questions arise above this $3b figure. What’s your thoughts on restructuring after such a calamity, and whether the Gov would entertain it?

* More info about the Maximum Probable Loss Methodology can be found here – https://www.industry.gov.au/data-and-publications/maximum-probable-loss-methodology-for-space-and-high-power-rocket-activities

#svvoidables #space #rocketman

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