Law, College of


Date of this Version



An article in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Planetary Science, S. Freeland (ed.) (2019), 27 pp.

doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190647926.013.39


Copyright © 2019 Oxford University Press USA. Used by permission.


International satellite law can best be described as that subset of international space law that addresses the operations of satellites in orbit around the Earth. Excluding, therefore, topics such as manned space flight, suborbital space operations, and any activities beyond Earth orbits, this means addressing the use of satellites for telecommunications purposes, for Earth observation and remote sensing, and for positioning, timing, and navigation. These three major sectors of space activities are, in addition to jointly being subject to the body of international space law, each subject to their specific dedicated legal regime —international satellite communications law, international satellite remote sensing law, and international satellite navigation law.