There are three main legal instruments in the UK that cover spaceflight activities.
1. The Outer Space Act 1986 (OSA) plus the amendments made to the OSA by the Deregulation Act 2015 applies to UK nationals and UK companies intending to launch or procure the launch of a space object, or operate a space object outside the UK.
2. The Space Industry Act 2018 (SIA) applies to anyone intending to carry out space activities, sub-orbital activities, and associated activities in the UK. Several statutory instruments have been made under the SIA.
- The Space Industry Regulations 2021 which make provision to enable the licensing and regulation of spaceflight activities, spaceports, and range control service
- The Spaceflight Activities (Investigations of Spaceflight Accidents) Regulations 2021 which establish a spaceflight accident investigation body and make provision abut the conduct of accident investigations
- The Space Industry (Appeals) Regulations 2021 which outline the decisions made by the regulator that may be appealed by a licence applicant or licence holder. They also create the decision-making body to hear appeals and, set the procedures and timescales for making and deciding appeals
- The Regulator's Licensing Rules which support the regulator’s power relating to the granting and renewal of operator, spaceport and range control licences under the SIA
3. The Air Navigation Order applies to anyone intending to carry the launch of a vehicle in the UK that is not capable of operating above the stratosphere (circa 50km altitude).
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