Announcement of a ‘ commercial satellite launch agreement’ ( CSLA ) and the official removal of Indian Space Research Organisation ( ISRO ) subsidiaries from US blacklist are on the cards after meetings between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama , ISRO sources said. Though ISRO is not directly involved , there are reports that negotiations at the foreign ministry level have reached an announcement stage on the CLSA and complete removal of its subsidiaries from the US entity list , sources at India’ s premier space organisation said. ISRO was put on the US entity list after India conducted nuclear tests in 1998. The CSLA is seen as follow -up to a Technology Safeguards Agreement signed in July 2009 , during the visit of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The launch agreement will allow US commercial satellites or satellites with US components to be launched on ISRO space vehicles — significantly opening up the nearly $ 2 billion -dollar global space launch business.
US export reforms that are currently underway are expected to clear the path for the launch of commercial satellites by ISRO . The presence of commercial satellites on the US Munitions List as defence export items requiring separate licensing is one of the impediments in the launch of satellites with American technologies by ISRO . “Upon entry into force of a Commercial Space Launch Agreement ( CSLA ) between the United States and India , and in accordance with the terms of the TSA, the United States will consider and as appropriate grant of export licenses for commercial spacecraft for launch by India, ” the two countries had agreed on July 20, 2009 while inking the Technology Safeguards Agreement .
Removal of its subsidiaries — the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre located at four different places, the Solid Propellant Space Booster Plant and the Sriharikota Space Centre in Sri Harikota, and the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram — from a barred list is expected to open up access to high -tech components for ISRO and enable US companies new export access . The US entity list originally contained even the ISRO headquarters , the Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network ( ISTRAC ) and an Inertial Systems Unit ( IISU ) . These were, however, subsequently removed .