Washington: With the signing of the Technical Safeguards Agreement (TSA) by India and the United States, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is now in a position to execute a contract for the launch of Algerian satellites that have American components. The TSA was signed in the course of a recent visit to India by US secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
"Following the signing of the Technical Safeguards Agreement during secretary Hillary Clinton's recent visit to India, the US government has given clearance for launch by Indian Space Research Organisation [ISRO] of Algerian satellites ALSAT-2A and ALSAT-2B, which have US components, on board an Indian space launch vehicle," the Indian embassy said in a statement.
Owned by the Algerian Space Agency, the Alsat is built by EADS Astrium with components of US origin. It will be launched on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) by the end of the year.
The TSA is intended to facilitate the launch of non-commercial US satellites and satellites with US components on Indian launch vehicles. ISRO officials have said the agreement would open up more satellite launch opportunities for India as earlier satellites built with US-made components were not available for Indian launch vehicles.
ISRO officials say the total market for non-commercial launches is estimated to be around 40 satellites a year, of which India commands a very small share. The TSA agreement will now enable India to make a larger penetration into this market.