Up, up and away: An update on the UK's latest plans for space activities

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


The ever-increasing number of private actors operating in the space industry is giving rise to the concern for adequate domestic legal frameworks to regulate commercial space activities, and the UK is no exception. This article provides a comprehensive review and outline of the UK’s most recently enacted national space law, namely the Space Industry Act 2018. The article identifies and discusses the component elements of the 2018 Act, such as licensing, regulatory requirements, and liability and indemnity implications. Many of these are common to other national space legislation and other national space legislation is therefore considered briefly for comparative purposes. The article critically analyses the 2018 Act from the perspective of whether it aligns with the UK government’s stated aim to foster the development of private space activities from the UK, and whether the correct balance has been struck between ensuring regulatory requirements yet encouraging commercial ventures. The article also seeks to address, as far as possible – given the absence of formal arrangements at the time of writing – some of the issues posed by Brexit in this sector and how the UK is attempting to ‘future proof’ against these.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAir and Space Law
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Law