DTSA Space Directorate

Sea launch rocket

The purpose of the Space Directorate (SD), and the goal of its monitors, is to preserve critical U.S. space-related technological advantages and prevent the diversion or proliferation of critical technology that could prove detrimental to U.S. national security in the wrong hands. SD facilitates the U.S. space industry’s competitiveness in the international marketplace by providing responsive monitoring services that support the U.S. space industry’s State Department-approved export requests. SD maintains a qualified and readily accessible workforce that can respond quickly to industry’s demands for monitoring services.

The mission of SD is to monitor technical data and defense servicesassociated with approved launches of U.S. satellites by non-U.S. launch vehicles and other rocket-related programs to prevent the unauthorized transfer of critical U.S. space-related technology.

SD monitoring is applied and takes effect when DoS DDTC imposes special export controls (SECs) on space related export authorizations (i.e., licenses and Technical Assistance Agreements). SECs are:

  1. Technology Transfer Control Plan (TTCP): A TTCP defines the procedures, controls, and processes a company intends to implement to satisfy the controls and limitations imposed by provisos on the export authorization. The TTCP delineates the plan the applicant will follow to prevent the unauthorized transfer of information.
  2. Technical Data Review: Requires all technical data to be reviewed by DTSA/SD, prior to export.
  3. Monitoring of Technical Interchanges: A DTSA monitor will attend all meetings and interactions to ensure that defense services/technical assistance remains within the scope of the export authorization.

When these SECs are applied to an export authorization, which has been processed through USXPORTS, industry will then interact with DTSA/SD using Spacelink. Spacelink is a web-based secured-communications interface used by DTSA/SD and industry to facilitate interactions on export authorizations, TTCPs, technical data transfers, and technical assistance/defense services. Once a company has established a Spacelink account, both the DDTC export approval and the company submitted export authorization request must be loaded into Spacelink for acceptance by DTSA/SD. Subsequently, a Draft TTCP can be uploaded for DTSA/SD review and approval. Once DTSA/SD reviews and approves the draft TTCP, a company can then upload the Final TTCP into Spacelink. When the Final TTCP is uploaded and approved the company is authorized to export technical data and defense services as authorized in the export authorization.

DoS jurisdiction applies in cases where the export of a U.S. satellite (or related items) is for launch on a foreign launch vehicle. For the very specific case of the export of a U.S. satellite (or related items) to be launched in, or by nationals of a country that is neither a member of NATO, nor a major non-NATO ally of the U.S., SECs are mandated (referencePL 105-261, PL 106-65, and 22 CFR 124.15). In these cases where SECs are mandated all government monitoring costs must be reimbursed by the applicant. In addition, for these cases in the event of a launch failure a separate mandatory license is required for launch failure (crash) investigations and analyses. These mandatory launch failure licenses require reimbursement.

Although 22 CFR 124.15 does not require the application of SECs for the launch of U.S. origin satellites and components from or by nationals of a country that are members of NATO, or major non-NATO allies, such export controls may nonetheless be applied. SECs may also be applied to rocket or space launch vehicle development programs. When DoS DDTC imposes one or all of the SECs on an export authorization, then DTSA/SD will address the given export authorization and accompanying SECs in the manner described above. However the costs of implementing these SECs will be borne by the DoD and will not be reimbursed by industry. In addition, for these cases in the event of a launch failure a separate mandatory license is required for launch failure (crash) investigations and analyses. These mandatory launch failure licenses do not require reimbursement.

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