Saturday, June 5, 2010

Boeing Seeks Clearance For Joint Space Projects With India

Aerospace Daily & Defense Report (June 5, 2010)
Neelam Mathews
AWIN June 4, 2010

NEW DELHI — Boeing says it has applied for federal clearance to enter into a Technical Assistance Agreement to work with India on space projects.

India has indicated it would like to partner with NASA on the International Space Station (ISS). Recently, Boeing Defense, Space and Security officials talked about
possible areas of cooperation for building India’s capacity for manned space missions, echoing Indian ambassador to the U.S. Meera Shankar’s words on the importance of space exploration.

One possible area of cooperation between Boeing and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) could be the Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) contract
awarded by NASA to Boeing to initiate design and development architecture of a commercial crew transport to and from the ISS. Several other companies received CCDev contracts as well (Aerospace DAILY, Feb. 3).

Possible Indian contributions include the Launch Escape System (LES), an LES vehicle health monitoring system and abort triggers, life support system components and crew accommodation hardware.

“Over time, NASA is looking at the international use of the ISS and could perhaps include new partners,” Roger Krone, president of Boeing Network and Space Systems,
told Aerospace DAILY in February. “NASA wants to make full use of that capability. We would like to be associated with it ... [However,] we will have to work inside a technical agreement the U.S. government will be able to sign … At the moment, it is limited.

“We’re taking a long-term view of the Indian market that is likely to include hosted payloads, weather satellites, human spaceflight, work on small satellites and nanos, training and collaboration with industry,” Krone said. “This would mean technical collaboration.”

In August last year, ISRO invited Boeing to a robotic space mission technology conference. ISRO also carried NASA and international partner sensors on its lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1.

The U.S.-Indian Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) agreement of January 2004 was envisioned to allow the Indian launch of U.S.-licensed satellites and third party satellites with controlled U.S. items onboard, but NSSP was declared concluded in July 2005.

The original deal was reached even as ISRO and many of its subsidiaries remained on the U.S. export restriction list. Soon after, Boeing pulled out of its collaboration on the Indian National Satellite System, or INSAT.

“We would like to see governments come to agreement,” Krone added. “More countries can now participate in the ISS, which will be in orbit until 2020.” A broader
international use of that asset would be positive, he said.
- Neelam Mathews

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