Outer Space Act 1986


The Outer Space Act 1986
Long titleA bill to secure compliance with the international obligations of the United Kingdom with respect to the launching and operation of space objects and the carrying on of other activities in outer space by persons connected with this country.
Royal assent18 July 1986
Commencement5 July 1989

The Outer Space Act 1986 is an Act of Parliament that implements the United Kingdom's international obligations with respect to space launches and operations by people connected to the country. The act did not come into force until 31 July 1989.[citation needed]

Outline of provisions

The Act specifies that anyone who launches a space object or carries out any activity in outer space must obtain a licence before doing so. This licence must be granted by the Secretary of state and may contain terms enforceable by prosecution.[citation needed]

Under section 7 a UK Registry of Outer Space Objects is maintained by the UK Space Agency, and is periodically published.[1]

Amendment of the Outer Space Act 1986

In 2015, Section 12 of the Deregulation Act amended the Outer Space Act to ensure licences specify the licensee's liability to indemnify the government regarding space activities authorised by the licence.[2]

The Space Industry Act 2018 extended and improved the regulatory framework for commercial spaceflight activities to be carried out from spaceports in the United Kingdom and launches and other activities overseas by UK entities.[3]

See also


  1. ^ UK Registry of Outer Space Objects (PDF) (Report). UK Space Agency. October 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Licence to operate a space object: how to apply". Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  3. ^ Puschman, Nicholas; et al. (August 2020). "One giant (regulatory) leap for UK spaceflight: the launch of the UK Government's consultation on the supporting regulations to the Space Industry Act 2018". Bird & Bird. Retrieved 10 March 2021.

External links

  • Full text of the Outer Space Act 1986
  • The Outer Space Act 1986