Annual IISL/ECSL space law symposium at UN-COPUOS
22 March 2015

The International Institute of Space Law (IISL) and European Centre for Space Law (ECSL) held the Space Law Symposium 2014 on the subject of "The regulatory needs for very small satellites" on Monday 24 March 2014. The event took place at the Vienna International Centre on the occasion of the 53rd Session of the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Recent years have seen a rapid increase of the number of very small satellites with a weight of less than 50 kilograms. Technological miniaturization is progressing steadily and allows for ever smaller-sized satellite missions. While such missions still cannot (yet?) compete in terms of capability and endurance with their larger counterparts, they already provide valuable instruments for education, experimentation, validation as well as rudimentary services. However, though small and rather short-lived, these missions face the same regulatory requirements as 'fully fledged' space missions. They have to comply with international space law, be authorized and registered, fulfill the requirements of orderly frequency management and last but not least, respect space debris mitigation guidelines. The 2014 IISL-ECSL Symposium at UNCOPUOS covered all these aspects in order to raise awareness of the need to carefully apply the regulatory framework to such very small missions, just like any other space mission, in order to contribute to sustainable space activities.


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