HPA Provides Recommendations for Changes to U.S. Space Transportation Policy

Facilitating the Foreign Launch Exemption Process
Will Enable Faster Access to Space on Commercial Satellites

DEERFIELD, IL – June 25, 2012 – The Hosted Payload Alliance (HPA) today announced that it has completed a position paper providing recommendations for changes to the U.S. Space Transportation Policy, which is currently under review. HPA, a trade association composed of 14 leading space-industry companies, recommended adjusting the foreign launch exemption process to facilitate solutions for launching U.S. Government payloads hosted on commercial satellites that are likely to be launched overseas. This position paper marks the inaugural policy recommendation from HPA.

The paper was distributed to officials at various U.S. Government departments and agencies including NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the White House National Security Council. HPA endorsed three revisions to the current policy:


  • Develop a transparent and time limited exemption process
  • Allow for exemptions with conditionsEnable the exemption process to begin early enough to support the U.S. Government’s analysis of alternatives

In combination, these changes will support routine consideration of hosting opportunities by both the U.S. Government and the commercial sector during their respective acquisition planning cycles.

The current U.S. Space Transportation Policy prohibits the launch of government payloads on foreign launch vehicles without a special exemption. According to Don Thoma, Chair of the Hosted Payload Alliance and Executive Vice President at Iridium, “Because 80 to 90 percent of commercial satellites are launched overseas, the current policy makes it difficult for U.S. Government agencies to take advantage of dozens of commercial satellites that are launched annually. By facilitating the exemption process, our government can more easily benefit from faster and more cost-effective rides to space while ensuring interests of the United States are properly considered.”

Download the full position paper.

Established in 2011, HPA is an independent, not-for-profit satellite industry alliance formed to
increase awareness and promote the benefits of hosted government payloads on commercial satellites.

HPA’s purpose is to serve as a bridge between government and private industry, fostering open
communication between potential users and providers of hosted payload capabilities. HPA focuses on
education, awareness and developing solutions to common challenges.

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