Space tourism offers opportunities to insurance companies

Space tourism offers opportunities to insurance companies

Organised as part of Bangalore Space Expo 2010, speakers at the conference noted that since Yuri Gagarin’s flight in 1961, citizens of 38 countries have flown in space, adding that one is bound to see the emergence of ‘space tourism’ with access to space for private individuals.

Most individuals who have flown in space till date have been astronauts, military personnel and scientists.

A CII-Antrix-Deloitte report released here said that spending on space in India is expected to increase by an average of 14.8 per cent annually over the next four years and is estimated to be Rs 10,000 crore by 2014, while another study notes that India is currently ranked sixth globally in terms of space budget and technological capabilities.

The US, Europe, Japan, Russia and China are ahead of India in this context.
Speaking at the occasion, ISRO Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre Director S Ramakrishnan said that apart from satellite and launching sector, personal space flights, space tourism and adventure space tourism are emerging as a possible market for insurance players.

As space tourism matures into personal space transportation system, one can foresee like what happened in beginning of the airline business, he said, adding that in the space sector also, one can talk about even personal flight coverage.

Favourable market

Speaking on the risk and insurance solutions for space ventures in the 21st century, ISB Executive Vice-President Tim Wakeman said “the space industry within India is thriving.

It’s a good time to buy insurance for spacecraft as market conditions are favourable with premium rates on the decline and availability of insurance capacity is three-four times the demand.” While space ventures promise an evolving sector with huge returns, the execution risks are far too high, experts noted.

Tom Captain, Vice-Chairman, Deloitte LLP, Global Aerospace & Defence Sector Leader, said India’s space industry is registering explosive growth, with many opportunities for indigenous and foreign suppliers to help further develop the country’s communications and positioning, among other things.

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