US seeks more commercial space cooperation with India

Washington, March 22 (IANS) The US wants to increase commercial space cooperation with India to create opportunities for US and Indian companies as their “very capable space science communities” have much to offer each other.

“India’s first Indian Mars Orbiter Mission, slated for October 2013, is an exciting opportunity for US-India collaboration,” Geoffrey Pyatt, principal deputy assistant secretary for South Asia said opening a meeting of the US-India Civil Space Joint Working Group.
Noting that the US and India are leaders in earth observation, he suggested that the group “build on joint activities using US and Indian earth observation satellites to better understand earth systems and provide information to improve economies and lives”.
“We also should seek to increase our commercial space cooperation and create opportunities for US and Indian companies,” he said noting “our very capable space science communities have much to offer each other through collaboration”.
The hard work on both sides in transforming their interactions with each other has allowed successes such as US instruments on India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission, Pyatt said.
More recently, the removal of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) subordinate entities from the Entity List in 2011 and additional measures taken since have further expanded the possibilities for trade and cooperation in civil space, he said.
The National Defence Authorization Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in January includes satellite export reform measures expected to expedite trade in space technology, Pyatt said.
“The US-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund, established in 2009 and with an annual budget of $2 to $3 million, is a landmark in our belief to work together to promote commercialization of innovative technologies,” he said.
“This collaboration on innovation across a wide range of disciplines is generating new jobs for our people and helping to address many of the globe’s big challenges,” Pyatt said.