For information only - not an official document

UNIS/OS/574
1 December 2022

PRESS RELEASE

 

UN Office for Outer Space Affairs and United Kingdom launch new partnership on Registering Space Objects 

VIENNA, 1 December (United Nations Information Service) - The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Government of the United Kingdom are launching a new project to enhance international expertise in the registration of objects launched into outer space. The multi-year project strengthens an already solid foundation of joint efforts between the partners covering topics such as space sustainability and climate action.

The United Nations Register of Objects Launched into Outer Space is a treaty-based mechanism which promotes transparency in outer space activities. Since the beginning of the space age, more than 14,000 satellites have been launched, and 85 per cent of them have been registered with the UN. UNOOSA has received over 2,000 satellite registrations in 2022 alone and potentially 100,000 satellites could be launched over the next decade. With 35 per cent of all satellites launched over the past three years, this exponential growth demonstrates the need for a better understanding of national registration practices. 

Funding for the project will be used to prepare an anonymized stakeholder study report on the experiences of Member States in implementing international law, including the Registration Convention that was drafted by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and adopted by the UN General Assembly. The Convention entered into force as a treaty in 1976.

Acting Director of UNOOSA, Niklas Hedman, said: "The registration of space objects has been a key tool promoting transparency since the dawn of the space age. As we look ahead, registration must keep pace with current and future space activities, such as in-orbit servicing, transfer of ownership, space mining beyond Earth's orbit, mega constellations, and active debris removal. With the outlook of tens of thousands of new satellites reaching orbit this decade, now is the time to bring the international community together to understand national approaches to registration and support new and emerging space-faring nations to use space safely and sustainably."

UK Space Agency Chief Executive Officer, Paul Bate, said: "We are proud to be supporting this initiative, which will make a huge impact on the world's rapidly increasing use of outer space. The UK is already a world leader in space regulation and promoting the sustainability of space activities is a key priority in the National Space Strategy. This partnership with UNOOSA demonstrates how this ambition is shared by other spacefaring nations. By working together to understand each other's needs and goals, we can ensure the safer and fairer use of space for everyone."

More information about UNOOSA and the Register for Objects of Objects Launched into Outer Space:  https://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/spaceobjectregister/index.html

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For more information, please contact:

Martin Stasko
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
Email: martin.stasko[at]un.org

 

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