Overhauled space launch framework takes off

By on 2 September, 2019

Australia’s new regulatory framework streamlines the process of launching objects into space and returning them to Earth.

An overhaul of the regulatory framework governing Australian space activities has been completed and is now in effect.

The Australian Space Agency says that Australia’s blossoming space industry now has a more streamlined and improved process for launching objects into space — and returning them to Earth.

According to the agency, the newly-renamed Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018 now has provisions to reflect current industry trends, technology and the Australian context, and provides a considerably streamlined approvals process over the prior regulatory framework.

Three rules support the new framework, specifying provisions as launches from aircraft, high-powered rockets, and adjusting insurance risk levels for launches and returns.

The new framework also implements certain obligations under UN space treaties.

Australian Space Agency head, Dr. Megan Clark AC, said that the new framework was a milestone on the path to the agency’s goal of growing Australia’s space industry.

“The way we interact with space is changing, and there has been a rapid transformation of the sector in recent years,” she said.

“By updating the regulatory framework, we are improving Australians’ access to space, while continuing to uphold our strong values to ensure safety of activities on Earth and in space.

“These reforms ensure that Australia’s space regulation accommodates technological advancements and does not unnecessarily inhibit innovation in Australia’s space capabilities.”

You can read more about the fine detail of Australia’s updated space regulation on the Australian Space Agency’s website.

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