If the United States wants to have a space industry that generates high-paying manufacturing jobs, it should not allow the sale of its space industry crown jewels to foreign companies. Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) is, by most measures, the world’s most successful builder of commercial satellites under its current management and one of the United States’ few manufacturing exporters. Why change?

The only visible motivation for the sale is so that shareholders, of which the author of this letter is one, can get rich quick.

Allowing this sale would be especially bad policy since Canada only recently refused to let a U.S. company buy an important Canadian space company — the same one that now proposes to buy Space Systems/Loral. There is no “free trade” unless both sides play the game, and if MDA is “Canadian forever,” Loral should be U.S. forever.

Congress and the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama need to act fast to prevent the loss of a vital contributor to the United States’ future as a spacefaring commercial power.

Donald F. Robertson
San Francisco

The writer is also a shareholder in MDA Corp.

Donald F. Robertson is a retired space industry journalist and technical writer based in San Francisco.