Smith, Babin Examine Policy Governing Indian Launch Vehicles

Lamar Smith
Lamar Smith

WASHINGTON (House Science Committee PR) – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas) yesterday sent letters to four senior officials following up on requests for information about the current U.S. policy governing the export of U.S. commercial satellites for launch on Indian launch vehicles.

On July 6 Chairmen Smith and Babin wrote Director of Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren, Secretary of State John Kerry, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman, and U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, seeking this information.

Yesterday’s letters reiterate requests for a briefing and documentation on the current U.S. policy. The letters can be found here.

U.S. Trade Representative Reviewing Indian Access to Launch Market

PSLV rocket lifts off with India's Mars Orbiter Mission. (Credit: ISRO)
PSLV rocket lifts off with India’s Mars Orbiter Mission. (Credit: ISRO)

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is reviewing a 10-year old policy that has largely kept U.S.-built satellites from being launched aboard Indian launch vehicles.

Last week, USTR official Samuel duPont made a presentation about the review to a working group of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). Growing demand by American satellite makers for commercial launch services is the reason behind the review.