Globalstar, UN Registration, and the New French Space Law

May 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Source – Space News:

Globalstar Halts Launch Campaign To Check Satellites for Defect

. . . But a separate deadline that Globalstar had not viewed as a problem is fast approaching. Globalstar’s creditors had insisted, as a condition of their loan, that the company obtain an operating license in the United States for the second-generation system by Aug. 31.

Globalstar’s first-generation constellation was licensed in the United States, which is Globalstar’s biggest market. But the second-generation constellation is licensed in France.

Monroe said that, unbeknownst to Globalstar and its partners, U.S. regulators require non-U.S.-registered satellites to obtain a registration with the United Nations before being granted approval to provide service in the United States.

That too should not have been a problem, as France has a long history of being the registering country for satellites. But in this case, the Globalstar demand for United Nations registration by the French government came in the wake of a new French Space Law, which took effect in mid-2008.

Monroe said this legislation modified past practices and has substantially slowed the French government’s ability to produce the required paperwork and present it to the United Nations.

Monroe said Globalstar believes the U.N. registration can be done by sometime in July, and that Globalstar’s U.S. operating license will be granted automatically on the day that occurs.

Until then, Globalstar is unable to offer services in the United States from its six second-generation satellites, which became operational earlier this year. . . . [Full Story]

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