Chennai, June 28 – The third party liability insurance guidelines for Indian private space sector players — rocket and satellite makers — are hoped to be finalised before the end of this year, said the sectoral regulator.
“We hope to define the guidelines (for third party liability insurance) before the end of the year and those will then be followed,” Pawan Goenka, Chairperson, Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), told .
As per the draft Spacecom policy, private sector players wanting to provide communication service within and outside India using a space-based asset are liable for damages caused to other space objects in outer space and its environment.
As per the draft policy, any damages that may occur to other space objects in outer space, the private service providers are liable for financial damages and they have to take care of that by providing financial guarantee or insurance cover.
The extent of financial guarantee or the insurance cover will be determined by the Indian authorising/licensing body taking into account the risks involved in nature and operations of that space object in outer space.
Meanwhile on June 30, two Indian space sector startups — Digantara and Dhruva Space — will fly their payloads fixed to the fourth stage of Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
After PSLV puts into orbit three foreign satellites, the rocket’s spent fourth stage will be the orbital platform for the payloads of Digantara and Dhruva Space.
“These are payloads not separated from the rocket. They are an integral part of the fourth stage POEM (PSLV Orbital Experimental Module) and not an active system. So, no extra liability than that of PSLV. When we launch an Indian private satellite which separately to be registered as a space object the liability needs to be defined,” S. Somanath, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman ISRO told .
In April this year, Indian satellite maker Syzygy Space Technologies Pvt Ltd, commonly known as Pixxel, launched its first satellite ‘Shakuntala’ with Space X’s rocket.
Queried about the liability insurance Awais Ahmed, CEO of Pixxel told it was covered by overseas insurers.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)