The UK Space Agency has issued a public consultation seeking views of stakeholders on proposed changes to the Outer Space Act 1986.
This is in response to the Government Growth Review published in March 2011, in which the Government set out its wish to reform the Outer Space Act 1986 by introducing an upper limit on liability for UK operators.
The Outer Space Act covers all UK satellites irrespective of size, from tiny low cost educational CubeSats up to large commercial £500 million satellites.
The key aspects of the consultation are the proposals to waive the capped liability and insurance requirement for in-orbit operation of any satellite that meets the criteria of a CubeSat and to remove the requirement for unlimited indemnity from satellite operators.
The existing Outer Space Act imposes heavy additional costs (>£50,000 per annum) on those wishing to launch small educational CubeSats. The additional costs act as a major deterrent and to-date no such UK CubeSat has been launched.
The public consultation closes August 31, 2012.