MonitorsPublished on Jul 04, 2017
Space Alert | Volume V, Issue 3

Significance of India’s cartographic satellite programme

India began its space programme around mid-1960s. Over last four to five decades, India’s space programme has evolved as a well-integrated agenda catering for various social developmental aspects. India’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Development Organisation (ISRO) has successfully developed and launched many satellites having significant applications for society and science. Their initial focus has been to launch multipurpose satellites and now over a period of time they have started launching role specific satellites like meteorological satellites, communications satellites, navigational satellites etc. India has also developed a network of remote sensing satellites and on 23 June 2017 ISRO has successfully launched one such satellite called Cartosat 2E. This is the sixth satellite in Cartosat 2 series. Cartosat 2E, was launched on Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C38). Along with this satellite, 30 nano satellites were also launched with 29 of them for foreign customers. India’s remote sensing efforts is said to have started almost around the same time when it began to institute its space programme.  Around late sixties, India began experimenting with various aspects of aerial survey mechanisms. The purpose of these was to know more about land and water resources, about crops, about water pollution and to collect weather/climate related inputs. Subsequently, satellites were developed that could monitor drought as well as do flood mapping, management of natural resources and waste land management and marine resource study. These efforts led to the development of Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite programme with the first remote sensing satellite IRS-1A launched on March 17, 1988. Before the development of IRS, India had launched two important remote sensing satellites called Bhaskara-I and Bhaskara-II during 1979 and 1981 respectively. However, India’s remote sensing programme in particular and space programme in general, can be said to have got a real boost with the operationalisation of the PSLV in 1994. This gave India the required confidence to develop a specific programme for remote-sensing since availability of launch vehicle no longer remained an issue. Today, ISRO has one of the biggest remote-sensing satellite network in the world. Various IRS series satellites launched till around 2000 have already completed their mission life. ISRO has taken its remote sensing mission to the next level (could also call it a reconnaissance programme) with the beginning of the 21st century. On 22 October 2001, a Technology Experiment Satellite (TES) was launched providing a resolution of better than 1 m. This satellite has also finished with its mission life. It is believed that this satellite was designed and developed with dual purpose utility and can be said to have begun India’s quest to develop satellite technology for strategic purposes. Since then India has launched various remote sensing satellites like satellites in RESOURCESAT series (1, 2, 2A) and weather satellites like SARAL and Megha-Tropiques. Similarly, few satellites in a series Oceansat with heritage from IRS missions were also launched with the payloads like Ocean Colour Monitor (OCM). Simultaneously, India has also established one major constellation of satellites called Cartosat. The following table provides the details of such satellites launched till date, and collated based on various internet sources.
Name of Satellite Launch Date Resolution Remarks
Cartosat 1 5 May 2005 2.5 m
Cartosat2 10 Jan 2007 < 1 m
Cartosat2A 28 Apr 2008 80 cm Perceived to be dedicated satellite for the Indian Armed Forces
Cartosat2B 12 Jul 2010 < 80 cm
Cartosat2C 22 Jun 2016 < 80 cm Used for weather mapping too
Cartosat2D 15 Feb 2017 < 80 cm
Cartosat2E 23 Jun 2017 < 80 cm
Cartosat3 Proposed 2018 Expected to be around     30 cm For land & infrastructure mapping, enhance disaster monitorin-g and damage assessme-nt
Broadly, India’s investment in the Cartosat series of satellites has a dual-purpose – it has significant utility for civilian applications and some strategic utility too. These satellites provides high-resolution imagery. Such imagery is of greater strategic significance particularly over the region where India shares land and water border with adversary. Today, India has major security concerns associated with cross-border terrorism. There are various topography and terrain related problems along India’s western border. This region is surrounded by thick vegetation and snow covered mountain ranges. It is extremely important to have constant day and night monitoring of this region and inputs from satellites could play a major role in this regard. The revisit time for same location of a cartosat satellite is around four days. Naturally, having a constellation with number of satellites contributes to more frequent availability of the imagery and adequate visibility of the areas of interest. The above table indicates that within one year India had launched three satellites in quick-succession. Also, there have been efforts on the part of ISRO to ensure that every new satellite offers a better quality imagery. With the successful launch of Cartosat-2E on June 23, 2017, ISRO has once again demonstrated that it plays a vital role not only in India’s growth story but is also an important instrument of India's national security architecture. Gp. Capt. Ajey Lele (retd.) is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.

The American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act: Setting the stage for non-traditional space activities

Recently, the United States Congress quietly took up a new bill that is likely to have as much of an impact on the future of outer space activities as the 2015 American Space Competitiveness Act. The new bill, called the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act, is an effort to address a regulatory gap in US laws. This gap is the absence of a regulatory body that can authorise anything other than a launch/re-entry, telecommunications or remote sensing. US leaders hope that their approach will keep US companies at the forefront of space activities while still meeting international obligations under the Outer Space Treaty. While the Free Enterprise Act is meant to modify the US regulatory landscape through the “light touch” approach, it is likely to have much wider implications. In particular, the US could be setting the minimum standard for authorising and supervising non-traditional space activities such as mining, manufacturing, on-orbit servicing and habitats. Without a significant pushback from the international community (and even that might not be enough), companies will first look to the US system to determine how onerous regulatory challenges will be in future. Other nations wishing to enter this field will then have to decide whether more or less stringent rules are appropriate. With any luck, this situation will not create a problem of “flags of convenience”. The Article VI dilemma The main balance being struck in the Free Enterprise Act is between the obligation imposed by Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty and a desire in the US to apply only the lightest of regulatory touches where necessary. Article VI requires that States authorise and supervise the activities of their nationals in space, though without any further guidance on how this should be done. To date, the US has met this obligation through three regulatory bodies: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) deals with launches and re-entry, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) handles telecommunications and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) takes on remote sensing activities. However, there is no one to authorise non-traditional activities like space mining or habitats. While the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has the expertise to verify the safety of such a mission, it is not a regulatory body. Likewise, the Department of Defence does not want the burden of dealing with commercial authorisations. As an intermediary solution, the FAA Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation (AST) developed a “payload review” as a means of issuing a license and authorization. This approach has been used twice: once for the Bigelow inflatable habitat currently attached to the International Space Station, and once to authorize the Moon Express lunar lander mission.   However, this was only seen as a temporary solution, with lawmakers and industry experts eager to find an even more streamlined solution. The Free Enterprise Act The solution to the Article VI dilemma reached by the US carries the signature of a country that dislikes regulation, and this may be more true during this administration than ever before. US lawmakers have endeavoured to provide a meaningful framework that gives the benefit of the doubt to industry as much as is practicable. The new regime will require applicants (who must be US citizens or entities) to provide all the technical details of the mission that one would expect at the very least, including information about third-party liability insurance and space debris mitigation measures. It also requires attestations that the activities will not involve a nuclear weapon or a weapon of mass destruction, or a test of a weapon on a celestial body. Importantly, a determination must be made about the application within 60 days and, if not, the application is automatically granted. This application process is surprisingly straightforward when one considers it will be used to authorise exotic activities such as space manufacturing. Of course, such a mission will also require a launch license (from the FAA), a telecommunications license (from the FCC) and a remote sensing license (from NOAA) if they wish to include a camera that might take images of the Earth. Nevertheless, the simplicity is a sign of the confidence the US government places on industry’s ability to look after itself. To further ensure that this regime will not hinder business, the bill introduces presumptions that should be made during the determination on the application: that any attestation is sufficient to meet US obligations under the Outer Space Treaty and that reasonably commercially available efforts do the same. And while many in the international community will initially balk at such a presumption, it is generally sound. The US is liable for any activities it authorises and is unlikely to allow an activity to go forward that presents a clear threat to safety and security in space. Interestingly, the authorisation process will be administered by the Department of Commerce. This presents a shift away from previous proposals that the FAA should be the body that oversees all commercial space activities. The argument here is that the FAA will require additional resources just to approve all the new launch applications that will necessarily be needed to accommodate future projects like mega-constellations of small satellites. The actual authorisation of activities like space mining would only add to the FAA’s workload and create roadblocks in the approval process. The Department of Commerce will, in this case, be the fourth regulatory body for space activities in the US. Implications for the international community So what does it matter to other countries if the US is setting up a new department to meet its Article VI obligations? It matters because the US will be creating the first regime that treats non-traditional space activities like a regular business, making an attractive environment for new space entrepreneurs. By creating a predictable, streamlined licensing process, the US is setting the standard by which all other regimes will be measured both by businesses and lawmakers alike. Other countries will want to ensure that their regimes are not so onerous that they chase business to the US. Conversely, they will have to consider carefully whether they want to streamline the process any further, even at the risk of sacrificing safety for simplicity. In effect, the US will be setting the standard once more in outer space activities. Daniel Porras is an Associate for LMI Advisors in Washington DC, where he advises on international legal issues related to space activities. He can be reached @spacedaporras

 GSLV Mark III and the road ahead

June 5, 2017 will go down as a historic date for the Indian space programme with the success of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launching the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III) in its full-fledged maiden flight. In this success, ISRO also breaks free of the first-time launch jinxes for India which the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV), Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk II (GSLV Mk II) faced during their first flights. Although ISRO had tested the GSLV Mk III’s solid motor on a previous mission, June 5 was the first time the launch vehicle was being flown with an upgraded cryogenic engine. The post-launch briefings saw Chairman ISRO mention that scientists had performed 199 tests for the launch success of GSLV MARK III since Dec 2014 and reinstating the goal that ISRO is focussing is to achieve 12 launches per year. With the success of GSLV Mk III, one could say that India has gained technological redemption from the era of technology denial on the back of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) that led to the Indo-Russian deal of cryogenic technology transfer falling short of its original intent. The success of GSLV Mk III will lead to completing India’s self-sufficient capacity to put payloads of up to 4-tonnes into geostationary orbits or about ten tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). From a savings to the exchequer viewpoint, this launch success means that ISRO will not be going anymore with Arianespace for its 4-tonne payloads and could potentially save India anywhere between INR 250-400 Crore on each launch. However, while ISRO is looking at developing larger communications satellites of 6-tonnes, there remains a gap in the country which ISRO has to close to put such increased payloads into geostationary orbits. This of course will be the task ahead for the launch vehicle team in ISRO with the proposed expansion of the payload capabilities. The road ahead for launch vehicles in India Following the successful launch of the GSLV Mk-III ISRO is slated to launch a kerosene-based semi-cryogenic engine, projected to be functional for flight tests by 2021 with the envisioned engine using refined kerosene as a propellant, as opposed to the conventional combination of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. While liquid oxygen will still function as the oxidizer, an eco-friendly alternative, kerosene can be used after storing at a normal temperature, while the previous liquid hydrogen had to be stored at (-)253 degree Celsius. The success of GSLV Mk III will provide more impetus to the development of the Unified Launch Vehicle (ULV) whose core objective is to design a modular architecture that could eventually replace the PSLV, GSLV Mk I/II and LVM3 with a single family of launchers. ULV could also be used for human spaceflight missions for sending India's own space station into orbit and ferrying astronauts. As far as the launch vehicle scene in India is concerned, the immediate roadmap for ISRO seems to be in operationalising the private sector consortium to develop PSLVs by the industry by 2020, expanding the scope of GSLV Mk III to higher payload capacity, developing semi-cryogenic engines that can lead to future launch vehicles to have a combination of semi-cryogenic and cryogenic stages and expanding the scope of scale of the development of a fully reusable launch vehicle. Global perspective - Reusability to change the landscape One of the biggest questions that is emerging in the global launch vehicle scene is how will re-usability change the landscape of the launch vehicles. Today there are over 40 launch vehicles at least with some backing (either private or public-private) with different concepts of lifting payloads into LEO and GEO with aspects of re-usability. While companies like Rocket Lab and Vector Space Systems seem to be serious contenders to take up multiple launches on a weekly basis for small payloads to LEO, companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin have showcased larger re-usable boosters already. The effect of these technological advances will affect the global launch industry in possible significant price reduction as far as the access to space is concerned. Therefore, these developments are likely to affect the market that today ISRO’s PSLV and possibly GSLV is capturing with the ‘low cost’ tag. The developments in reusable launch vehicles has also led to several traditional actors in the launch vehicle business considering how reusability will affect their own standing and have led to them starting to take measures in considering investments into such vehicle architectures.  There are reports of Chinese experts having already built a prototype model to test theories on the reusable rocket booster's landing subsystems and completed "experimental verifications" using "multiple parachutes" supposedly attached to the booster. Similar renewed interest is also emerging from the Russians. Similarly in Europe, European Space Agency (ESA) is providing support to a French reusable rocket engine programme that would lead to an engine test in three years. ESA with its Future Launchers Preparatory Program (FLPP) is allocating 85 million euros ($91 million) to Prometheus (a liquid oxygen and-methane-fuelled reusable engine) to fund research and development leading to a 2020 test firing. Prometheus engine will extensively use new technologies and production methods, including 3-D printing and will have  a target price of 1 million euros which is 1/10th of the cost of the Ariane 6’s liquid-oxygen and liquid-hydrogen Vulcain 2.1 engine. In his recent analyses of the GSLV success, Ajey Lele notes that ‘Unfortunately, India also took more time to develop an indigenous cryogenic engine. Globally, on average, various countries are known to have taken around eight to ten years to fully develop and master this technology. However, India took almost one and half decades.’ Given the lack of a strong private sector infrastructure to develop launch vehicle technologies in the country, it is extremely important that the Government of India invests into development of re-usability in the country to ensure that ISRO can keep up to the technological changes in launch vehicles and therefore the price to put payloads into LEO and GEO. Narayan Prasad is Co-founder of Dhruva Space, a NewSpace company based out of Bangalore and also the Co-founder of ReBeam, a wireless energy technology startup based out of Mountain View, California. He can be reached @cosmosguru


PSLV-C38 successfully launches Cartosat-2 series, along with 30 co-passenger satellites

India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 40th flight (PSLV-C38), launched the 712 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation and 30 co-passenger satellites with 29 of them from 14 countries. Source:  Indian Space Research Organisation

GSLV Mk III-D1 successfully launches GSAT-19

GSLV-Mk III-D1 is the first developmental flight, carrying 3136 kg GSAT-19 satellite to a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. It is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons, a liquid propellant core stage and a cryogenic stage (C25). Source:  Indian Space Research Organisation

India successfully launches South Asia Satellite, GSAT-9

GSLV-F09 launched 2230 kg South Asia Satellite GSAT-9 into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. GSLV-F09 mission is the eleventh flight of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle and its fourth consecutive flight with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage. Source:  Indian Space Research Organisation

ISRO develops "Solar Calculator" Android App

The App provides monthly / yearly solar potential (in kWh/m2) and minimum / maximum temperature at any location. It also displays the location on the satellite image and provides azimuth / elevation angles as well as day length over different time periods in a year. Source: Indian Space Research Organisation

ISRO plans joint venture with industries for rocket-building

The space agency is looking to form a joint venture with an industry consortium (to build polar satellite launch vehicle or PSLV), with the first launch planned for 2020-21 under this proposed entity, Kiran Kumar said. "We are now going through the process of establishing those mechanisms and getting the necessary approvals," he said. Source: DNA India

After Mars, ISRO decides it’s time to probe Venus

ISRO plans to send a spacecraft that will initially go around Venus in an elliptical orbit before getting closer to the ‘Yellow Planet’. It will carry instruments weighing 175 kg and using 500W of power. Source: The Hindu

Three atomic clocks of desi GPS satellites stop working

Three atomic clocks of one of the seven satellites of the country's newly operational navigation satellite system have stopped working. These rubidium atomic clocks, imported from Europe, are meant to provide precise locational data. Source: Times of India

ISRO to flight-test kerosene-based semi-cryogenic engine by 2021

"Various tests are in progress on the engine. Of the four turbo pumps in it, three have undergone tests at the ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri. We plan to have the engine ready by 2019 end, the stage by 2020-end and the first flight by 2021,’’ S Somanath, director, LPSC, said. Source: New Indian Express

To boost internet speed, ISRO to launch 3 GSATs in next 18 months

ISRO will usher in an age of high-speed Internet in India by launching three communication satellites GSAT-19, GSAT-11 and GSAT-20 in the next 18 months. These launches will not only revolutionise the way we use television and smartphones, but also drive the future communication needs of smart cities. Source: The Indian Express

NASA, ISRO team up to inspect 'oldest civilisation' site in Haryana

Teams of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) would inspect the excavation being carried out at an archaeological site in Haryana's Fatehabad district to verify claims of it being the oldest civilisation in the world. Source: NDTV

Aiming for the moon: Isro to launch Chandrayaan 2 in first quarter of 2018

In what will be its next step to reach, land on and explore the Moon, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is gearing up to launch its space science and planetary exploration mission, Chandrayaan-2, on a GSLV MKII launch vehicle, in the first quarter of 2018. Source: Business Standard

Hughes JUPITER System selected for 'Digital India' initiative

IPSTAR International, a premier Asia- Pacific telecommunications company and wholly owned subsidiary of satellite operator THAICOM Public Company Limited, has chosen the JUPITER System from Hughes Network Systems LLC, (HUGHES) to extend the reach of broadband throughout India. Source: PR News Wire

TRAI bats for private players in satellites

“We should allow anyone to step in to send these satellites. These orbits are ideal to expand broadband penetration in the country, especially in the North-East,” says R S Sharma, Trai chairman. Source: Business Standard

SpaceX gaining substantial cost savings from reused Falcon 9

SpaceX saw significant cost savings by reusing a Falcon 9 first stage in a launch. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said the company expects to see greater cost savings on future launches of reused Falcon 9 vehicles as the company reduces the amount of refurbishment work it does on the recovered stages. Source: Space News

Air Force space chief open to flying on recycled SpaceX rockets

“I would be comfortable if we were to fly on a reused booster,” General John "Jay" Raymond told reporters at the U.S. Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. “They’ve proven they can do it. ... It’s going to get us to lower cost.” Source:  Reuters

With latency as low as 25ms, SpaceX to launch broadband satellites in 2019

SpaceX today said its planned constellation of 4,425 broadband satellites will launch from the Falcon 9 rocket beginning in 2019 and continue launching in phases until reaching full capacity in 2024. Source: Ars Technica

Declassification and partnerships needed for better space defence, Hyten says

“One of the things I asked the Senate was some help in legislation that would help us to more effectively deal with the Commercial Integration Cell” at the Joint Space Operations Center, Hyten said of his testimony April 4 before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Source: Space News

Amendment to Senate bill allows continued imports of Russian rocket engines

Senators overwhelmingly passed an amendment to an Iran-Russia sanctions bill June 15 to fix language some argued could have prevented NASA and others from launching missions on rockets that use Russian engines. Source: Space News

U.S. military orders two more surveillance satellites to roam geosynchronous orbit

Orbital ATK started work on two more surveillance satellites for the U.S. Air Force’s geosynchronous neighborhood watch program late last year as the military aims to expand its ability to track and investigate other objects in the heavily-trafficked belt more than 22,000 miles over the equator. Source: Spaceflight Now

White House proposes $19.1 billion NASA budget, cuts earth science and education

The White House’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposal seeks to cancel five NASA Earth science projects and confirms plans to shut down the agency’s education office as part of more than $560 million in cuts from 2017. Source: Space News

Rocket Lab reaches space, but not orbit, on first Electron launch

“We didn’t quite reach orbit and we’ll be investigating why, however reaching space in our first test puts us in an incredibly strong position to accelerate the commercial phase of our program, deliver our customers to orbit and make space open for business.” Source: Space News

Moon Express chairman believes his team is “ready to go for the end of this year”

Jain notes Moon Express—not Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, or Blue Origin—remains the only company to secure all the necessary permissions from the US government to launch beyond low-Earth orbit toward the Moon. Source: Ars Technica

Intrepid NASA spacecraft will 'touch the Sun'

The spacecraft will face soaring temperatures and a bombardment of radiation like no other probe before it, as it’s sent to within four million miles of the boiling surface of our star. Source: Forbes

Report: Canada should work with US to protect satellites as “critical infrastructure”

Canada’s space assets must be declared as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure and the country should work with the US to protect those systems from threats, a new report from a Canadian Senate committee recommends. Source: Space News

Space agency heads see the moon on the path to Mars

“We think that the moon is also a very important step. Mars is not the ultimate goal,” said Jan Woerner, director general of the European Space Agency. “The moon is an intermediate step to go to Mars, but the moon can also offer some special opportunities.” Source:  Space News

Japan launches new satellite to improve GPS

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched the latest version of the H-IIA rocket with the Michibiki 2 communications satellite on board from the Tanegashima Island space centre in Kagoshima prefecture. Source: Economic Times

Japan aids five African and Asian countries in building nano-satellites

The Japanese government, through the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan, has completed its “Bird Project” in collaboration with satellite engineers and space agencies from Bangladesh, Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria, and Thailand. Source: Space Watch Middle East

China plans to grow potatoes in space, like Matt Damon did in The Martian

A 3kg mini-ecosystem container developed by research teams led by Chongqing University would be transported to the moon’s surface by the Chang’e 4 that would be launched in 2018. The container will send potatoes, arabidopsis seeds and silkworm eggs to the surface of the moon. Source: South China Morning Post

Shijian-13: China launches 1st high-throughput communications satellite

The satellite, which has a higher message capacity than the combined capacity of all of China’s previous communications satellites, is capable of providing better Internet access on planes and high-speed trains, as well as in less-developed regions. Source: Financial Express

CNSA boss outlines China’s space exploration agenda

China is pushing forward on a number of space fronts, including milestone-making robotic missions to the moon, as well as scoping out an automated Mars sample-return mission by 2030. Source: Space News

A cabin on the moon? China hones the lunar lifestyle

Eight Chinese volunteers will live in "Yuegong-1," a simulated space "cabin" in Beijing for the next year, strengthening China's knowledge and technical know-how, and helping the country's scientists understand exactly what will be required for humans to remain on the moon in the medium and long terms. Source: Xinhua

China launches Tianzhou-1 to test space station refuelling

China has launched its first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, in a mission to test refuelling and resupply technologies needed for the country's upcoming space station. Source: GB Times

China plans asteroid base for interstellar travel and mining

Ye Peijian, the Chief Commander and Chief Designer of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, revealed details that could potentially put an umanned craft on an asteroid and mine the rock for metals like palladium, platinum and others that are used in items such as smartphones and automobiles. Source: Fox News

China Satcom poised to support China’s ‘Belt and Road’ trade initiative

Chinese satellite fleet operator China Satcom is preparing to support the country’s ambitious international trade development program by growing its footprint in maritime and aviation services, among others. Of particular interest is China’s “21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” said Zhang Yu, senior sales manager at China Satcom. Source: Space News

China invites international cooperation on next phase lunar exploration

“China sent out invitations to cooperate when Chang'e-4 was still in its blueprint phase. So far we've received over 20 requests from over a dozen countries. The mission will involve projects from the Netherlands, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Sweden.” Source: People’s Daily

Space mice: First animals born from sperm stored on International Space Station

Fears that space travel could damage fertility and hinder a long term mission to Mars have been partially allayed after healthy mice were born from sperm stored in the International Space Station for nine months. Source: The Telegraph

New law and space agency to support Luxembourg’s space resources ambitions

The legislation is patterned on the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015, which includes provisions that grant U.S. companies the rights to resources they extract from asteroids or other celestial bodies. Source: Space News


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