OF OBJECTS LAUNCHED
INTO OUTER SPACE
The States Parties to this Convention,
Recognizing the common interest of all mankind in furthering the
exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes,
Recalling that the Treaty on principles governing the activities of
States in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and
other celestial bodies of 27 January 1967 affirms that States shall bear
international responsibility for their national activities in outer space
and refers to the State on whose registry an object launched into outer
space is carried,
Recalling also that the Agreement on the rescue of astronauts, the return
of astronauts and the return of objects launched into outer space of 22
April 1968 provides that a launching authority shall, upon request,
furnish identifying data prior to the return of an object it has launched
into outer space found beyond the territorial limits of the launching
Recalling further that the Convention on international liability for
damage caused by space objects of 29 March 1972 establishes international
rules and procedures concerning the liability of launching States for
damage caused by their space objects,
Desiring, in the light of the Treaty on principles governing the
activities of States in the exploration and use of outer space, including
the moon and other celestial bodies, to make provision for the national
registration by launching States of space objects launched into outer
Desiring further that a central register of objects launched into outer
space be established and maintained, on a mandatory basis, by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Desiring also to provide for States Parties additional means and
procedures to assist in the identification of space objects,
Believing that a mandatory system of registering objects launched into
outer space would, in particular, assist in their identification and
would contribute to the application and development of international law
governing the exploration and use of outer space,
Have agreed on the following:
For the purposes of this Convention:
(a) The term "launching State" means:
(i) A State which launches or procures the launching of a space
(ii) A State from whose territory or facility a space object is
(b) The term "space object" includes component parts of a space object
as well as its launch vehicle and parts thereof;
(c) The term "State of registry" means a launching State on whose
registry a space object is carried in accordance with article II.
1. When a space object is launched into earth orbit or beyond, the
launching State shall register the space object by means of an entry in
an appropriate registry which it shall maintain. Each launching State
shall inform the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the
establishment of such a registry.
2. Where there are two or more launching States in respect of any such
space object, they shall jointly determine which one of them shall
register the object in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article,
bearing in mind the provisions of article VIII of the Treaty on
principles governing the activities of States in the exploration and use
of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and
without prejudice to appropriate agreements concluded or to be concluded
among the launching States on jurisdiction and control over the space
object and over any personnel thereof.
3. The contents of each registry and the conditions under which it is
maintained shall be determined by the State of registry concerned.
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall maintain a Register
in which the information furnished in accordance with article IV shall be
2. There shall be full and open access to the information in this
1. Each State of registry shall furnish to the Secretary-General of the
United Nations, as soon as practicable, the following information
concerning each space object carried on its registry:
(a) Name of launching State or States;
(b) An appropriate designator of the space object or its registration
(c) Date and territory or location of launch;
(d) Basic orbital parameters, including:
(i) Nodal period,
(e) General function of the space object.
2. Each State of registry may, from time to time, provide the Secretary-
General of the United Nations with additional information concerning a
space object carried on its registry.
3. Each State of registry shall notify the Secretary-General of the
United Nations, to the greatest extent feasible and as soon as
practicable, of space objects concerning which it has previously
transmitted information, and which have been but no longer are in earth
Whenever a space object launched into earth orbit or beyond is marked
with the designator or registration number referred to in article IV,
paragraph 1 (b), or both, the State of registry shall notify the
Secretary-General of this fact when submitting the information regarding
the space object in accordance with article IV. In such case, the
Secretary-General of the United Nations shall record this notification in
Where the application of the provisions of this Convention has not
enabled a State Party to identify a space object which has caused damage
to it or to any of its natural or juridical persons, or which may be of a
hazardous or deleterious nature, other States Parties, including in
particular States possessing space monitoring and tracking facilities,
shall respond to the greatest extent feasible to a request by that State
Party, or transmitted through the Secretary-General on its behalf, for
assistance under equitable and reasonable conditions in the
identification of the object. A State Party making such a request shall,
to the greatest extent feasible, submit information as to the time,
nature and circumstances of the events giving rise to the request.
Arrangements under which such assistance shall be rendered shall be the
subject of agreement between the parties concerned.
1. In this Convention, with the exception of articles VIII to XII
inclusive, references to States shall be deemed to apply to any
international intergovernmental organization which conducts space
activities if the organization declares its acceptance of the rights and
obligations provided for in this Convention and if a majority of the
States members of the organization are States Parties to this Convention
and to the Treaty on principles governing the activities of States in the
exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other
2. States members of any such organization which are States Parties to
this Convention shall take all appropriate steps to ensure that the
organization makes a declaration in accordance with paragraph 1 of this
1. This Convention shall be open for signature by all States at United
Nations Headquarters in New York. Any State which does not sign this
Convention before its entry into force in accordance with paragraph 3 of
this article may accede to it at any time.
2. This Convention shall be subject to ratification by signatory States.
Instruments of ratification and instruments of accession shall be
deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. This Convention shall enter into force among the States which have
deposited instruments of ratification on the deposit of the fifth such
instrument with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
4. For States whose instruments of ratification or accession are
deposited subsequent to the entry into force of this Convention, it shall
enter into force on the date of the deposit of their instruments of
ratification or accession.
5. The Secretary-General shall promptly inform all signatory and acceding
States of the date of each signature, the date of deposit of each
instrument of ratification of and accession to this Convention, the date
of its entry into force and other notices.
Any State Party to this Convention may propose amendments to the
Convention. Amendments shall enter into force for each State Party to the
Convention accepting the amendments upon their acceptance by a majority
of the States Parties to the Convention and thereafter for each remaining
State Party to the Convention on the date of acceptance by it.
Ten years after the entry into force of this Convention, the question of
the review of the Convention shall be included in the provisional agenda
of the United Nations General Assembly in order to consider in the light
of past application of the Convention, whether it requires revision.
However, at any time after the Convention has been in force for five
years, at the request of one third of the States Parties to the
Convention and with the concurrence of the majority of the States
Parties, a conference of the States Parties shall be convened to review
this Convention. Such review shall take into account in particular any
relevant technological developments, including those relating to the
identification of space objects.
Any State Party to this Convention may give notice of its withdrawal from
the Convention one year after its entry into force by written
notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Such
withdrawal shall take effect one year from the date of receipt of this
The original of this Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English,
French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be
deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall
send certified copies thereof to all signatory and acceding States.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto by
their respective Governments, have signed this Convention, opened for
signature at New York on the fourteenth day of January one thousand nine
hundred and seventy-five.