Washington, April 23: The US-India relations have taken a different turn altogether. Forget the joint venture of launching a satellite to study earthquakes, the former is now jittery over the launch of its 18 satellites. The country's nascent private space industry has expressed its opposition to the large scale launch of satellites by ISRO.
They rue that such a move would be detrimental to the future of US's space industry. These companies feel that the launch costs are way out of the market and have been subsidised by the Indian government.
Needless to say, the US markets are not as competent when it comes to pricing. Elliot Holokauahi Pulham, CEO of Space Foundation, said,"I think the concern about using Indian boosters is not so much the transfer of sensitive technology to a nation that is a fellow democracy, but rather whether the Indian launches are subsidised by the government to a degree that other market actors would be priced out of the market."
Eric Stallmer, president Commercial Spaceflight Federation, points out that the contracts are being outsourced since satellite manufacturers are making satellites at a faster pace than that of US's capability to launch. This, in turn, is hitting the economy as grounded satellites do not fetch money.
Stallmer further added,"Currently, the Indian launch vehicle PSLV has a sweet spot and has the capability of launching some of these satellites right now in a timely manner. We don't want to see US launches going overseas by any means, whether it's to India, Russia or whomever else. But right now, from the satellite, you know, producers and manufacturers, they need to get their assets up in the sky as quick as possible."