News story

Evidence wanted on liabilities, insurance and charging for UK commercial spaceflight

The Government is seeking evidence to shape the future policy on the liabilities, insurance and charging arrangements for commercial spaceflight, following Royal Assent of the Space Industry Act.

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The Space Industry Act became law on Thursday 15 March unlocking an exciting new era of British space innovation, exploration and investment.

The Government committed to issuing a call for evidence, to seek input on liabilities provisions following Parliamentary debates. The UK Space Agency and Department for Transport are now leading that call to help inform future policy on liabilities and on insurance and charging arrangements as well.

Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said:

“We are ensuring the regulatory framework set out in the Space Industry Act leads to a safe, responsible and attractive environment for small-satellite launch and sub-orbital flight.

“This is a chance for interested parties to have their say on the important issues of liabilities, insurance and charging, as we take the next steps towards enabling launches from UK spaceports for the first time, as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.”

The Space Industry Act is the most modern piece of space industry legislation anywhere in the world and means UK businesses will soon be able to compete in the commercial space race from UK spaceports.

This will not only ensure Britain is capable of launching small satellites and scientific experiments from UK soil, but also enable the UK to take advantage of future developments like hypersonic flight and high-speed point to point transport.

The UK is already a global hub for satellite manufacturing, operation and application development. Access to space will allow companies to deploy satellites as well, making the UK a one-stop shop for satellites services and the best place in Europe to start and grow a space business.

The Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper included £50 million to enable new satellite launch services and low gravity spaceflights from UK spaceports.

Published 27 March 2018