We regulate Australian space and high-power rocket activities. We also oversee international arrangements affecting space regulation.

Australia is a founding member of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and is party to the United Nations space treaties. Australia is committed to ensuring a safe, stable and sustainable outer space environment by building a culture of safety and sustainability within the Australian space sector.

Conducting space activities

The Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018 (the Act) sets out a regime for the regulation of civil space-related activities carried out either from or to Australia or by Australians overseas. The objects of the Act include seeking to ensure a reasonable balance is achieved between:

  • the removal of barriers to participation in space activities and the encouragement of innovation and entrepreneurship in the space industry
  • the safety of space activities, and the risk of damage to persons or property as a result of space activities.

The Act also implements certain Australian obligations under the United Nations space treaties.

The Act includes powers for the Minister to make rules by legislative instrument. The rules support effective operation of the Act. They are intended to provide clear information and a streamlined process relevant to the approval of an activity under the Act. There are currently three legislative instruments setting out rules under the Act (collectively the Rules):

Other relevant documents referred to by the Rules are the Flight Safety Code and the Maximum Probable Loss Methodology (MPL Methodology).

The following activities need approval under the Act:

  • launching a space object from Australia (requires an Australian Launch Permit)
  • returning a space object to Australia (requires a Return Authorisation)
  • launching a space object overseas, for Australian nationals with an ownership interest (requires an Overseas Payload Permit)
  • returning a space object overseas, for Australian nationals with an ownership interest (requires an Overseas Payload Return Authorisation)
  • operating a launch facility in Australia (requires a Launch Facility Licence)
  • launching a high-power rocket from Australia (requires a High Power Rocket Permit)

For more information about authorisations, visit our webpage on Permits, licences and authorisations.

You can see a list of permits, licences or authorisations granted under the Act here: notice of minister decisions to grant, vary, revoke, suspend or transfer a permit, licence or authorisation under this Act.

You can see a list of space objects authorised under the Act here: register of space objects authorised under the Act.

Under the Act, the minister appoints an investigator to examine any launch-related incidents or accidents, with reports published here.

Visit our webpage to learn more about the investigation into Hapith I Rocket accident

If you have trouble accessing this documentation, please contact us.

Person adjusting Telescope against clear view of milky way galaxy

Engaging with the sector

The Space Regulation Advisory Collective (SRAC) informs the regulatory function of the Australian Space Agency.

The SRAC is a network of non-government space sector representatives and other interested parties.

The SRAC provides the opportunity for stakeholders to raise issues that have, or may have, significant implications for the safety and security of space activities.

We aim to hold quarterly virtual workshops focusing on specific themes relevant to space regulation. Members can self-select attendance based on interest.  Workshop structure will vary in response to topic and expected numbers.

Members of SRAC may also receive notifications of any space regulation training or information sessions we hold.

Join the SRAC

Our department recognises the First Peoples of this Nation and their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to the lands, waters, seas, skies, and communities.

We Acknowledge First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Custodians and Lore Keepers of the oldest living culture and pay respects to their Elders past and present. We extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.