The Civil Aviation Authority carries out annual checks on all UK licensed spacecraft to meet its obligations under the UN treaties to monitor and supervise the activities of its nationals, most notably Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty:
“States Parties to the Treaty shall bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, whether such activities are carried on by governmental agencies or by non-governmental entities, and for assuring that national activities are carried out in conformity with the provisions set forth in the present Treaty. The activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorisation and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty. […]”
Our supervisory activities include monitoring the health of the spacecraft. All licensed operators will be required to provide information regarding their satellites by way of a ‘Health Check’, at least on an annual basis. We require only subsystem level reporting, but welcome exception reporting at lower levels.
We use a Red-Amber-Green health check form. This is emailed to the operator annually. In addition to this, we request a copy of the third-party liability insurance policy upon its renewal each year. This is so that we can assess the policy and ensure that it continues to meet our normal requirements.
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