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We have responsibility for:

  • authorising Australian space activities
  • international arrangements affecting space regulation

Authorising Australian space activities

If you are intending to:

  • operate a launch facility in Australia
  • launch or return a space object to Australia
  • launch a space object overseas (and you are an Australian national)

Please refer to the following legislation:

For further information please contact

Reform of the Space Activities Act 1998

We conducted a review into the Space Activities Act 1998 (the Act) to ensure Australia’s space regulation is appropriate for the sector’s rapidly evolving operations and technologies.

Key findings from the review are in the Legislative Proposals Paper available in Consultation Hub.

The Space Activities Amendment (Launches and Returns) Bill 2018 was introduced following consideration of feedback from the public consultation.

Space Activities Amendment (Launches and Returns) Act 2018

The Space Activities Amendment (Launches and Returns) Act 2018 was passed by the Australian Parliament in August 2018 and will amend the Space Activities Act 1998. The amendment:

  • includes licensing arrangements for launches from aircraft in flight
  • streamlines the approval process for launches and returns
  • balances safety and risk of potential damage with the national interest in a changing environment
  • adjusts insurance requirements to appropriate risk levels and international norms
  • reduces barriers to participation for small Australian space industry companies
  • increases non-compliance penalties to reflect the seriousness of damage to people and property
  • introduces safeguards for high power rocket activities

Subordinate legislation (known as rules) to support the amended Act will be developed with input from consultation. Updated regulatory arrangements will commence on or before 31 August 2019.

International arrangements affecting space regulation

We engage in international discussions to look for ways to support Australia’s obligations in space. This includes treaty negotiations, United Nations resolutions and guidelines development.

Read more

Read the Space (Launch and Returns) Act 2018: Future law compilation [1.9MB PDF] [113KB DOCX]

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Last updated: 22 August 2019

Content ID: 12666