U.S. Export Restrictions Push Europeans to Rely on Own Technology

esa_logoQuality Control, Transparency Push ESA to ITAR-Free Products
Space News

The European Space Agency (ESA) is gradually moving toward an ITAR-free posture for sensitive satellite components for reasons having as much to do with quality control as with the larger goal of achieving autonomy in space technologies, ESA and European industry officials said.

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AIAA ITAR Panel to Include SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Bigelow

red_tapeThe American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce that representatives from Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and Bigelow Aerospace, will come together on April 29 at 1:00 p.m. in the Thornton Room of the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, to discuss the impact of U.S. export controls on the American entrepreneurial space sector along with government experts.

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Bigelow Ruling Helps Loosen ITAR Noose – A Little

Exterior View of Genesis module
Exterior view of Bigelow aerospace's Genesis module

Freedom to Fly
The Economist

In December 2007 one of those mammals, a company called Bigelow Aerospace, filed the first legal challenge to America’s rules for exporting space technology. It disputed the government’s claim that foreign passengers travelling on a spaceship or space station were involved in a transfer of technology. The outcome suggests that there may be a chink in the armour of the export-controls regime.

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AIAA Conference on Export Control Regs

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPACE AND EXPORT CONTROL:
Red Tape in the Final Frontier

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
The Thornton Room
400 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

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AIA Pushes for ITAR Reform

AIA PRESS RELEASE

Satellite export control rules are hampering U.S. national security and economic interests, and must be updated to protect the U.S. space industrial base, Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion Blakey said Thursday in written testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Subcommittee.

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Arianespace CEO Shocked by Eutelsat Decision; Sat Chiefs Want Access to Chinese Launchers

The battle over U.S. export restrictions and access to Chinese launcher has heated up as different players expressed opposing views on the issue this week. Space News reports:

Chief executives of the four largest commercial fixed satellite services operators argued today that China should be permitted to launch U.S.-built commercial satellites, saying it would make the global commercial market more healthy and would also permit U.S. industry to better compete for satellite manufacturing awards.

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Research Association Official Decries ITAR, Lack of Hands-on Research

PRESS RELEASE

In testimony delivered during a recent Capitol Hill hearing organized by the Aerospace States Association (ASA), Dr. Thomas H. Zurbuchen, Professor of Space Science and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan and Vice Chair of the Universities Space Research Association’s (USRA) 102 member Council of Institutions, urged action on two pressing issues affecting space-related research at US universities and our nation’s ability to remain a leader in space.

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Has ITAR failed?

Taylor Dinerman looks at what he views as the failure of ITAR – the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The American export control regime is designed to control the spread of military technology abroad. Instead, it has crippled the nation’s ability to compete in key technology areas, especially in satellite techology, Dinerman says.

“ITAR handed over control of an important part of the US high tech economy to a set of hyper-cautious, hyper-legalistic, and slow-moving bureaucrats,” he writes.

The National Security Space Office (NSSO) recently proposed loosening the ITAR regime, a move that received the endorsement of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dinerman calls the proposed changes “minimal.”

“Even taking into account the statutory limits involved, few serious changes were offered. The most potentially important part was the promise to require decisions on licensing to be made within sixty days of the application,” he wrote.

Dinerman believes the next president should appoint a small task force to suggest meaningful changes in ITAR.

AIAA Supports Proposed Loosening of U.S. ITAR Export Regulations

It looks as if there could be some loosening in the American government’s export control regulations. The National Security Space Office (NSSO) has proposed changes to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

ITAR is designed to control the export of defense related technologies and services. Many groups feels that the regulations have been too tight, thus limiting the ability of American companies to compete internationally in space and other high-tech areas.

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is backing the proposed changes, which were discussed on Tuesday at a public hearing on Capitol Hill organized by the Aerospace States Association.

“We support the efforts of the NSSO to revise national export control policy,” AIAA President Paul D. Nielsen said in a press release. “International competition has intensified while at the same time producing new opportunities for collaboration and creating potential new export markets.

“I am certain that through deliberate public discourse such as the discussion that occurred today, a prudent balance between national security concerns and an environment that fosters innovation and progress in our nation’s space efforts will be struck. AIAA stands ready to enlist the knowledge of its technical experts in support of this goal,” he added.

You can read AIAA’s press release here.