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The term “Space Law” refers to the body of international and national laws and customs governing human activities in outer space. For the past half century, the majority of outer space operations have been conducted by government agencies. We now, however, stand at the precipice of a new era in spaceflight. Following the retirement of the Space Shuttle, private companies are preparing to assume many of the missions traditionally undertaken by governments and to open outer space to the general public. At the same time, questions of ownership and commercialization, environmental protection, as well as peaceful and equitable use of outer space, are rising. As space activities grow, space law will have to face new challenges.
According to corpus juris spatialis every State shall bear international responsibility for national activities of non-governmental entities in outer space. The national space activities are attributed to States through the launching and registration of a space object. The registration of space objects by the launching State, the State which procures the launching or the State from whose territory or facility a space object is launched, is an obligation of States which deems them responsible. National space laws and regulations are the toolbox of States to implement international obligations at the national level by assuring the conformity of the non-governmental and commercial entities when carrying out space activities with the international space law. The national space laws of each space-faring country are included in this second volume National Space Legislation of the series Ultimate Collection in Space Law.