Overview of the Bill
1 Commercial spaceflight is a rapidly growing and evolving sector. The global market for small satellites is expected to grow rapidly in the coming decade, driven by the many small satellites that are expected to be built and launched. At present, by virtue of the Outer Space Act 1986 ("the OSA"), the Secretary of State is able to license activities carried out by United Kingdom nationals and companies in relation to space objects and outer space . The OSA was enacted primarily to implement United Kingdom obligations under the UN Space Treaties. 1 Launches licensed under OSA have, to date, involved the licensing of small satellites overseas.
2 This Bill provides for the creation of a regulatory framework to enable commercial spaceflight activities (both launch to orbit and sub-orbit spaceflight) to be carried out from spaceports in the United Kingdom.