US Launch Companies Trying To Ban ISRO Rockets, Scared Of India’s Space Success



By Kunal Anand

While the US ambassador to India praised the growing U.S.-India cooperation in space, another ‘space race’, reminiscent of the US-Russia contest to reach the moon first, seems likely.

ISRO managed to launch 4 American satellites at once, Ambassador Richard Verma said in prepared remarks to a space policy forum in New Delhi on India’s “trusted workhorse – the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, which has launched satellites for 20 different countries.”

However, a day later, U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) endorsed an advisory committee’s recommendation to ban American launch companies from from using the PSLV, as per a Space News report. Further, the FAA said it agreed with the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) Indian launch services can “distort the conditions of competition” in the launch-services market.

Considering these are two opposing views, it is confusing what the American rocket industry thinks of Indian satellites

“There is a real dysfunction on the government side,” one U.S. industry official said. “On the one hand, you have the policy, which no agency wants to take responsibility for but which remains the policy. On the other, government agencies are practically falling over themselves to grant waivers.” COMSTAC speaking at a Jan 27 conference call of its International Space Policy Working Group said it that working with ISRO, an Indian government launch provider “runs counter to many national policies and undermines the work that has been done by government and industry to ensure the health of the U.S. space launch industrial bases.”

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