National governments, acting both independently and cooperatively, develop laws and guidelines to assign responsibility and to provide direction and accountability for space activities, including space transportation. The U.S. Government also works with other countries to develop and advance cooperation and best practices for space transportation operations. The United States reached a decision to formally work with the European Union and other spacefaring nations and in January 2012, the U.S. Department of State released the International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities (PDF).

Key documents governing the development and safe operation of launch vehicles within the United States and internationally are:

National policies

National legislation

International treaties

The United States has ratified the following international treaties: