Space Law and Policy Project Group



Regulatory and Economic Aspects of Nano Satellites (Survey, Analysis, and Reports)

Team Members:Swiss Space Systems, SGAC Commercial Space Project Group, SGAC Small Satellites Project Group, SGAC Space Law and Policy Project Group (Dorina Andoni, Sandra Cabrera, Lauren Napier)

Research Goals:

  • Development of nano satellites is an emerging and key technological domain with more and more nano satellites being readied for launch every year. Other than their educational and PR benefits, nanosatellites  are  also  seen  as  complementary  space  technology  platforms  to  bigger  industrial satellites.

  • This study aims at understanding and showing the diversity of a typical nano satellite development, which would include technical, regulatory and economical aspects. The project aims at performing a worldwide study of the typical roadmap and considerations for the development of a nano satellite.

  • The development concepts are to be analysed from the point of technical development, space law and  regulations,  economics,  and business  cases  for the  key technologies. Other  than  showing  the diverse  options  for  handling  all  the  developmental issues,  this  project  also  aims  at  proposing  a feasible roadmap for the future steps of the ‘small-scale’ organisations who would like to develop, test, launch and operate their small satellites.

Answers will be sought for typical questions such as (but not limited to):

  • What is the typical cost of a nano satellite development, broken into items such as hardware, human power, testing, launch, etc? How and when is funding secured?
  • What are the typical regulatory steps that are followed by the nano satellites developers? (existence  of  space law, registration, frequency allocation, definition of operator, definition of launcher stage, launch contract, ITAR, licenses, insurances, etc)
  • What are the major differences among different countries/regions in terms of nano satellite regulations?
  • How are the economic trends for development and the launch of nano satellites?
  • Would it be possible to propose an optimized strategy for the development, launch and operations of the nano satellites, taking into account the technical, regulatory and economic factors?

  • Where to Be Presented: The international space community, UNCOPUOS

  • Current Status: IN PROGRESS

Our aim is to publish the views of its members and the results of the group’s studies on space law and policy issues and to share information with the interested public and professional community in an easier and more centralised fashion.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z Y Z 


Acierno, Kyle


  • Young Space Leader Award (2015)
  • Young Lunar Explorer Award (2015)


Brown, Chris

  •  Brown,C. "All Ships Float in Space - Developing Countries and the Revolution of Space Law," Astrosociological Insights, ARI Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 2.
  • Brown, C. “Exploiting the Heavens: A Sustainable Treaty for Commercial Enterprise in Outer Space,” University of California, Berkeley School of Law, February 2013



Chatterjee, Joyeeta



Cheney, Thomas 


  • Cheney, Thomas Space Mining: The Legal Challenges and the North East PG Law Forum presentaiton was titled Is it an Aircraft? Is it a Space Object? No... It's a Spaceplane! Spaceplanes, suborbital flights and the definition and delimitation of outer space. Third place prize in the ECSL Essay Competition 
  • Co-Author, Policy Analysis: Air versus Space. Where do Suborbital Flights Fit In For International Regulation?, Journal of Science Policy and Governance, Vol. 3 Issue 1, August 2015
  • Cheney, Thomas, third place prize in the ECSL Essay Competition 2014, Space Mining: The Legal Challenges
  • Cheney, Thomas, (2015) North East Postgraduate Law Forum presentation, Is it an Aircraft? Is it a Space Object? No... It's a Spaceplane! Spaceplanes, suborbital flights and the definition and delimitation of outer space. Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.



Dennerly, Joel


  • Dennerley, J. (2014). Memorandum of Advice Regarding Questions on Space Law. 13 June.
  • Co-Author, 'Biomining and methanogenesis for resource extraction from asteroids' (Space Policy, Elsevier, 2015).  
  • Author of book reveiw, 'Evidence from Earth Observation Satellites Emerging Legal Issues' by Ray Purdy and Denise Leung (Space Policy, Elsevier, February 2015). 
  • LexisNexis Prize for Chinese Law and Society



Johnson, Christopher



Johnson, Nathan


Mayer, Hannes


  • Mayer, Hannes, Is a special legal regime for planetary defence measures necessary? Presented at the Planetary Defense Conference 2015 in Frascati, Italy. 
  • Rinner, Mayer, Karimi-Schmidt, Brünner. Space Law Essentials Vol. 2 Casebook, Linde Verlag, Vienna, 2015. 



Napier, Lauren


  • International Relations of Suborbital Flight: Analyzing International Activities Aimed at Regulatory Governance for Private Commercial Travel Across New Borders, Master Thesis, 2015, Webster University
  • Co-Author, Policy Analysis: Air versus Space. Where do Suborbital Flights Fit In For International Regulation?, Journal of Science Policy and Governance, Vol. 3 Issue 1, August 2015
  • Co-Author, Interplanetary Contamination and Extraterrestrial Life, Space Safety Magazine, Feb. 2015,
  • Co-Author, Bridging The Gap: Science and Policy For The Safety Of Space Environments Against Contamination – The Co-Author, Planetary Protection Index, International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) Conference, Friedrichshafen, Germany, Oct. 2014
  • Co-Author, The Importance of Analog Planetary Research for Success and Safety of Human and Robotic Space Missions, International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) Conference, Friedrichshafen, Germany Oct. 2014



  • SGAC Member of the Month, April 2015


Quesada Rodriguez, Adrian

  • Ibero-American Data Protection Research Award (2014) by the Spanish Data Protection Authority.  



Reynders, Martin


  • Reynders, Martin. Contributed to the Cologne Commentary on Space Law, Vol. III, as co-author of the Remote Sensing Principles and NPS Principles


Space Generation Advisory Council



Thro, Caroline

  • The Space Cooperation Endangered By The Ukrainian Crisis, Aviation and Space Journal April/June 2015 Year XIV  No 2,  p. 23 - 29.
  • Safe Insertion of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) into Non-Segregated Airspace Using Satellites for Commercial and Governmental Applications : The European ExampleSpace Law News, Newsletter of the International Bar Association Legal Practice Division, Vol. 15, No. 1, October 2015, p. 11 - 13

If you are interested in space law or policy, visit the websites below.

Please note that we do not endorse or take responsibility for the contents of the referenced websites. The links are provided for informative purposes only.














  • Res Communis Blog (University of Mississippi’s National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law)





Project Group Co-Leads

Thomas Cheney

Thomas Cheney (United Kingdom)



Christop Beischl (Germany)



Project Team Members

Kyle Acierno (Italy/Canada)
Dorina Adoni (Netherlands)
Camilo Andres Reyes (Colombia)
Sandra Cabrera Alvarado (Mexico)
Christoph Beischl (Germany) - Project Group Social Media Co-Manager
Chris Brown (USA)
Luisa Carbone (Italy)
Thomas Cheney (UK) - Project Group Social Media Co-Manager
Joel Dennerley (Australia)
Matthew Driedger (Canada)
Chantelle Dubois (Canada) - Web Team Co-Coordinator
Carolina Gallardo (Mexico)
Juan Gramajo (Guatemala) - NPoC of Guatemala
Kiryl Halauko (Belarus) - NPoC of Belarus
Julia Heuritsch (Austria)
Nathan Johnson (USA)
Sebastian Kleim (Germany)

Mclee Kerolle (USA)- Executive Co-Secretary                                                                                                                   

Lucius Klobucnik (Slovakia) - NPoC Slovakia

Ying Luo (China)
Harsh Mahaseth (Nepal)
Hannes Mayer (Austria)
Nikolai Joseph (USA)
Tomas Hrozensky (Slovakia) - NPoC Slovakia
Adrian Quesada Rodriguez (Costa Rica) - NPoC Costa Rica
Alberto Rueda Carazo (Spain)
Behnam Salem Condory (Iran) - NPoC Iran
Mark Shapiro (Russia/Israel) 
Jennifer Stuart (USA)
Beza Tesfaye Zewdie (Ethopia)
Caroline Thro (Germany/France)
Valerie Vlasenko (Ukraine)
Karina Wardak (Germany)
Bastian Wick (Germany)
Bilin Zhou (Australia)


Project Group Advisors

Chris Johnson (USA/UK) 该Email地址已收到反垃圾邮件插件保护。要显示它您需要在浏览器中启用JavaScript。 Co-Founder of the Space Law & Policy Group
Project Manager at Secure World Foundation
Joyeeta Chatterjee (India)




SGAC Project Coordinators





Space Law and Policy Project Group

The Space Law and Policy Project Group incorporates all aspects of those two broad fields of study. It develops the term ‘space law’ as all types of space-related international and national regulations and laws, whereas it interprets the term ‘space policy’ as all kinds of objectives and action plans of the international space community.

Open to young professionals and university students of all backgrounds, the group serves as a forum to discuss space law and policy topics, looking to have the voices of the young generation heard in the global discussion on the legal, political, ethical, or other social aspects of outer space.

Dedicated to investigating and addressing current issues in international and national space topics in the coming decades, the Project Group will pursue projects relevant to the field of space law and policy, and to the broader international space community.


Background of the Space Law and Policy Project Group

The Space Law Project Group was conceptualized during the Space Generation Congress (SGC) 2011, and established in the summer of 2012. The group is the result of the initiative of SGAC members, Mr. Christopher D. Johnson and Ms. Joyeeta Chatterjee, while pursuing legal training and building careers in the intersection of the legal profession and the space industry. The Project Group changed its name into "Space Law and Policy Project Group" in 2014 to account for the strong interconnection of law and policy and to better communicate the full spectrum of its activities.


What is Space Law and Policy?

International space law began in the late nineteen-fifties in response to increased governmental interest in outer space. The major international space treaties, drafted in nineteen sixties and seventies, have many elements and principles which are well observed and which have passed into the realm of customary international law.

The first major international agreement directly related to outer space, the Outer Space Treaty, was drafted by the United Nations Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and opened for signature in 1967. It was followed by other fundamental international treaties like the 1968 Rescue Agreement, the 1972 Liability Convention, the 1975 Registration Convention and the 1979 Moon Agreement.

The corpus juris spatialis also comprises several inter-organisational agreements (e.g., INTELSAT, INMARSAT), regional arrangements such as the ESA Convention, and a growing body of national space legislation. 



The Space Law and Policy Project Group has identified the following goals:

  • Engage in critical debates about actual legal and policy aspects concerning space activities
  • Investigate legal and regulatory challenges faced by the space community
  • Propose space-related policy recommendations
  • Address potentially emerging questions and issues in the space sector
  • Develop research papers regarding trend questions and issues of the space community
  • To contribute and collaborate with the space community on multidisciplinary topics


Working with the Space Community

We aim to partner creatively and collaboratively with other civil society institutions, such as the International Institute of Space Law, and to derive synergies from the vast global network of space academics and professionals.

As a member of civil society we do not represent national or corporate interests but are rather interested in benefiting global society and humankind as a whole. However, we do not exclude collaboration with industries and governments, as long as this proves conducive to the normative framework of SGAC.


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