United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space

Member States conducting space launches have been requested by the Committee to provide the United Nations with information on their launchings. A registry of launchings has been maintained by the Secretariat since 1962, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 1721 B (XVI), and information from Member States has been issued in United Nations documents in the A/AC.105/INF series. Since the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space entered into force in 1976, another register of launchings has been established for information received from Member States and intergovernmental organizations that are parties to the Convention.

As of 14 July 2014, there are 4 Signatories and 62 Parties to the Convention with Kuwait being the most recent State to become Party. Three international intergovernmental organizations (the European Space Agency, the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites and, most recently, the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization Intergovernmental Organization) have declared their acceptance of the rights and obligations provided for in the Registration Convention. The information received in accordance with the Convention has been issued in United Nations documents in the ST/SG/SER.E series. The A/AC.105/INF series continues with information provided by States who are not party to the treaty. Approximately 93% of all functional space objects (satellites, probes/landers, manned spacecraft, space station components, etc) have been registered with the Secretary-General.

The Registration Convention provides that the launching State should furnish to the United Nations, as soon as practicable, the following information concerning each space object:

  • Name of launching State;
  • An appropriate designator of the space object or its registration number;
  • Date and territory or location of launch;
  • Basic orbital parameters, including:
    • Nodal period (the time between two successive northbound crossings of the equator - usually in minutes);
    • Inclination (inclination of the orbit - polar orbit is 90 degrees and equatorial orbit is 0 degrees);
    • Apogee (highest altitude above the Earths surface - in kilometres);
    • Perigee; (lowest altitude above the Earths surface - in kilometres);
  • General function of the space object.

Under these arrangements information has been received from Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Egypt,  France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Venezuela  as well as the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).

For a model registration form for use by States of registry developed in accordance with resolution 62/101, please click here.

For an index of registration submissions by State of Registry, please click here.

For notifications of the establishment on national registries by Parties to the Registration Convention, please click here.

 

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Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space

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