Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, 2nd floor, Eurotowers 4, 1 Europort Road, Gibraltar.
(+350) 20074636   (+350) 20072166

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The 1976 Convention on Registration of Space Objects requires the UK to maintain a registry of space objects. Under the convention, every space object launched into Earth orbit or beyond must be entered in a registry maintained by its "launching State". The convention defines "launching State" to mean either the State from whose territory the object was launched or the State which procured its launch (or whose nationals did). A consequence of this definition is that when a UK satellite supplier arranges for the launch of a satellite it has built for a foreign satellite operator under a "delivery in-orbit" arrangement from a launch service provider launching from the territory of third State, there are three potential "launching States" if one is of the opinion that the satellite operator falls into the category of "procurers of the launch". In such a situation the joint "launching States" must agree who is to register it.

As a result, there will be circumstances where a UK satellite supplier has procured the launch of a space object but where that space object appears on the registry of another State party to the Registration Convention. There will also be situations where title and control of a space object has been transferred to a UK satellite operator after launch and the Secretary of State (or in the case of Gibraltar the relevant licensing authority) has licenced that company to operate the satellite. For these reasons, BNSC have produced a supplementary registry of space objects. This gives transparency on all the licences issued under the Outer Space Act 1986.