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Launch Registration Convention
Convention on the Registration of Objects Launched in Outer Space (Launch Registration Convention)
The Launch Registration Convention requires all objects launched into earth orbit or outer space to be recorded with a national space agency
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Opened for Signature
14 January 1975
Entered into Force
15 September 1976
A registry of launches has been maintained by the UN Secretariat since 1962, in accordance with UNGA Resolution 1721 B (XVI). Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1976, another registry of launches has been established for information received from Member States and intergovernmental organizations that are Parties to the Convention. The Convention was adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 3235 (XXIX).
The Convention also supplements the Outer Space Treaty, as well as the 1972 Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects and the 1968 Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space, both of which address technical and legal issues relating to international cooperation in the use and exploration of outer space exclusively for peaceful purposes.
Under this Convention, all objects launched into earth orbit or beyond into outer space must be recorded with an appropriate national space agency. Information on the object launched into space, including the date and territory or location of the launch, essential orbital parameters, and the function or role of the object in space is to be communicated to the UN Secretary-General as soon as practicable.
Verification and Compliance
Whenever a space object launched into earth orbit or beyond is marked with a designator or registration number, the State of registry shall notify the UN Secretary-General of this fact when submitting the information regarding the space object. In such case, the Secretary-General shall record this notification in the Register.
There are no compliance measures included in the agreement.
Signature States of the International / Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (ICOC / HCOC) (signed by more than 90 states in the Hague on 25 November 2002), resolved to, inter alia, “ratify, accede to or otherwise abide by” the Launch Registration Convention.
At its 39th session, which lasted from 27 March to 6 April 2000, the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) started consideration of a new agenda item, “Review of the Concept of the Launching State.” This three-year work plan focuses on improving application of the “launching State” concept, as used in the Launch Registration Convention and the Liability Convention of 1972, in light of recent trends towards international launches, increased privatization of space activities, and new developments in space transportation.