Chennai, March 13 : Antrix Corporation Ltd, the commercial arm of Indian space agency ISRO, on Tuesday clarified that it is the duty of its customers to get necessary permissions from national and international agencies.
Its statement came in reaction to a news report about Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launching four American cubesats that didn’t have necessary permission from the US government agencies with its rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on January 12 this year.
“Cubesats namely SpaceBee-1, 2, 3 & 4 belonging to US start-up company called Swarm Technologies were launched on PSLV C-40 on January 12, 2018 under a commercial agreement with Space Flight, USA,” Antrix said.
It is reported that US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied authorisation for launch of these satellites due to their tiny size – less than 10 cms which makes it difficult to track in the Space Surveillance Network of US, said Antrix.
It is also reported that FCC has withheld the launch of four more satellites of the same company through Rocket Lab, New Zealand.
“As per commercial launch services agreement of Antrix, the customer shall be responsible for obtaining all permits, authorisations and notices of non-opposition from all national and international authorities who have jurisdiction over the Customer Spacecraft Mission,” Antrix clarified.
“Since this is an internal matter of US, Antrix has requested its US clients to cross check with the FCC for compliance of regulations before exporting future satellites to India,” it added.
India has launched several foreign satellites for a fee with its PSLV rocket.