Asian Surveying & Mapping
Breaking News
Australian Space Agency funds development of aerospace-grade GNSS receiver
The Australian Space Agency has funded the development of...
Continuity risks for Australian EO data access
A new report details the widespread use of Earth...
China launches new remote sensing satellite
JIUQUAN, April 15 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday launched...
7.4-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Taiwan
A major, 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck the eastern coast of...
Tata Deploys Its Geospatial Satellite In Space on Space X’s Falcon 9 Rocket
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tata Company launched India's first private commercial satellite...
Taiwan’s Formosat-8 Satellite Set for Launch by 2025
The Taiwan Space Agency has announced progress on the...
Iranian Scientists to Build Satellite Constellation for 2 Simultaneous Missions
The scientists at the knowledge-based company had previously succeeded...
China provides geospatial intel and other military support to Russia, US says
The US has warned its European allies that China...
Japanese lunar lander company ispace raises $53.5 million in stock sale
WASHINGTON — Japanese lunar lander developer has raised $53.5...
Esri and Prince Sultan University Advance GIS Education Through Strategic Partnership
Memorandum of Understanding with Institution Enhances GIS Curriculum and...

In a sign the Australian Space Agency is already opening up new doors for Australian industry, NASA says it will be launching rockets from Arnhem Space Centre, in Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory, in 2020.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews also indicated she will encourage space tourism from Australia. She wants passengers to experience zero-gravity from the convenience of a domestic airport.

But who gets to decide what can be launched into space? That depends on where the launch takes place, and in the case of Australia, those rules are currently under review.

The authority for who approves, supervises and grants permission for launch of space objects is based on UN treaties that provide a framework for international space law. The most important is the Outer Space Treaty (OST), which entered into force in 1967.

Article VI of the OST provides that nation states (that is, countries) bear “international responsibility” for “national activities” undertaken in outer space by government and commercial users alike.

States remain responsible for activities undertaken by commercial entities—for example, companies such as SpaceX—and are obliged to undertake ongoing supervision of such activities.

How individual countries choose to conduct such supervision is left entirely up to them, but in most cases it is done by way of domestic space law.

The Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex in South Australia will be capable of launching rockets like Rocket Lab’s Electron, pictured here.

Another international treaty, the Liability Convention provides that the liability of the state extends to all launches that are made from that state’s territory. For example, the United States is legally responsible for all launches that take place from that country as well as for launches elsewhere that it procures.