of Space Activities


By Setsuko Aoki

Private space activities shall require authorization and continuing supervision by its national government as provided in Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty. The scope of “space activities” and that of national jurisdiction exercised over such activities depend on individual national space laws. Majority of States ascertain national jurisdiction over space activities carried out from territory under their jurisdiction and elsewhere by their citizens and juridical persons of their nationality. However, some States exercise their jurisdiction only in their territories or to their national persons. Should a private person commit an internationally wrongful act in carrying out its space activity, its national State is internationally responsible irrespective of the contents of the national space law concerned.


by Stephan Hobe

Authorization is a term under the Outer Space Treaty (Art. VI sentence 2) requiring the launching state to license private space activities. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 allowed private space activities as exception, although Russia was principally opposed to it. The compromise found in this issue was that it should be allowed under strict governmental control. This gave rise to all national space law of about 25 countries who have established different requirements for the granting of an authorization. At least special conditions of the licensing and on the space objects are required. In the future it is important that the granting of an authorization gets standardized, at least on the level of ESA or of the European Union and, even better, at an universal level. Only such standardization – as does exist in international aviation law – is one of the guarantees for the safeguarding of the most important standard of security and safety of space activities.