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).
- U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act 2015 (H.R. 2262) (PDF)
- 51 USC Ch.509: Commercial Space Launch Activities (2015)
- Commercial Space Launch Act, 51 U.S.C. Ch. 509, §§ 50901-23 (2011)
- Fact Sheet: National Space Transportation Policy (11/21/2013) (PDF)
- National Space Transportation Policy (11/21/2013) (PDF)
- MOU between NTSB, USAF and AST Regarding Space Launch Accidents (9/2004) (PDF)
The United States has ratified the following international treaties:
- Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space
- Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space
Objects (1972): PDF, MS Word
- Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (Outer Space Treaty of 1967): PDF, MS Word
More information on International Affairs.
Legislation or Regulation?
- Legislation is a directive proposed by a legislative body.
- Regulation is a specific requirement within legislation.
- Legislation is broader and more general.
- Regulation is specific and details how legislation is enforced.