Alden Orrery – Regulatory Briefing – April 2024

By Joanne Wheeler | 1 May, 2024 Posted in Articles and Publications

Alden Orrery Graphic Apr23 72dpi


Regulatory Briefing – April 2024




European Union (EU)

 EU to release legislative proposal for an EU Space Law later this year

 On 9 April 2024 it was announced that the release of a legislative proposal for an EU space law will be expected later this year, after the EU parliamentary elections in June.

Despite few details being disclosed as to what the draft law will contain, Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the internal market, and other officials have said that the draft law will aid in creating a “single market” for space in the EU, harmonise differences in national space laws, afford better protection to satellites and ensure safer and more sustainable space flights.



 Sweden signs Artemis Accords

 Sweden became the 38th state to sign the US-led Artemis Accords on 16 April 2024.

With Sweden’s accession, 14 of the 22 full members of the European Space Agency, have now signed the Artemis Accords. Additionally, among the 27 members of the European Union, 13 have also shown their support by signing the Accords.

Mats Persson, Sweden’s Minister for Education and Research, said “By joining the Artemis Accords, Sweden strengthens its strategic space partnership with the US on space covering areas such as Swedish space research and the space industry, which in turn also strengthens Sweden’s total defense capability.”



 Switzerland signs Artemis Accords

 Switzerland became the 37th state to sign the US-led Artemis Accords on 15 April 2024. The signature re-affirms Switzerland’s commitment to the sustainable and beneficial use of space for all humankind.

Speaking on the signature, Guy Parmelin, Swiss Federal Councillor and Minister for Economic Affairs, Education & Research, said “Switzerland has a long-standing partnership with NASA on human space exploration as well as space and Earth sciences. With the signature of the Artemis Accords, we renew our commitment to jointly explore the heavens above us”.


United Kingdom

 UK Space Agency signs Memorandum of Understanding with Canadian Space Agency

The UK Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 10 April 2024 to further areas of cooperation and information sharing on space.

This enhanced MoU seeks to build on the MoU signed between the two agencies in 2021. It offers a more comprehensive framework for strengthening bilateral collaboration on regulation. This includes facilitating the exchange of ideas and information regarding space policy, standards, and regulations.

Speaking on the MoU, Dr Paul Bate, UK Space Agency Chief Executive, said “The renewal of the MoU with our Canadian colleagues will bring further significant benefits to the thriving space industries of the UK and Canada, allowing us to continue achieving our goals in space through collaborative efforts in research and innovation”.



North America

United States (US)

Federal Aviation Administration to require re-entry vehicles to be licensed before launch

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on 17 April 2024 that it will no longer approve the launch of spacecraft designed to re-enter unless they have a re-entry licence.

The FAA stated that the inclusion of a re-entry licence requirement in the standard payload review process stemmed from safety considerations. They emphasised that an uncontrolled re-entry, which may happen if a controlled re-entry is not authorised, could pose risks exceeding those acceptable for FAA-licensed re-entry operations.


Department of Defence releases Commercial Space Integration Strategy

 The United States Department of Defense (DoD) released its 2024 Commercial Space Integration Strategy on 2 April 2024. The strategy seeks to align the Department’s efforts and drive more effective integration of commercial space solutions into national security space architectures.

The strategy identifies four top-level priorities that the Department seeks to pursue to maximise the benefits of integrating commercial space solutions:

  • ensure access to commercial solutions across the spectrum of conflict;
  • achieve integration prior to crisis;
  • establish the security conditions to integrate commercial space solutions;
  • support the development of new commercial space solutions for use by the joint force; and
  • global Space Situational Awareness Coordination

The full strategy can be read here.





 Thailand joins China-led ILRS moon base initiative

 On 5 April 2024, Thailand signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation on the China-led International Lunar Research Station (ILRS). The two sides also simultaneously signed an MoU on cooperation in the exploration and peaceful use of outer space.

The China-led ILRS initiative plans to establish a permanent lunar base in the 2030s, preceded by precursor missions in the 2020s. Thailand’s recent inclusion makes it the ninth country to join the ILRS program. This collaborative effort was initially announced by China and Russia in June 2021. Other participating countries include Venezuela, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, South Africa and Egypt.



 Japan and NASA Sign Agreement for Lunar Rover

 NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Masahito Moriyama signed an agreement to advance sustainable human exploration of the Moon on 9 April 2024.

Under the agreement, Japan will design, develop, and operate a pressurised rover for crewed and uncrewed exploration on the Moon. NASA will provide the launch and delivery of the rover to the Moon as well as two Japanese astronaut missions to the lunar surface.

Speaking on the agreement, Nelson said “America no longer will walk on the Moon alone. With this new rover, we will uncover ground-breaking discoveries on the lunar surface that will benefit humanity and inspire the Artemis Generation.”



South America


On 21 March 2024 Colombia ratified the Outer Space Treaty 1967, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies.

Colombia also provided a statement that:

“the segment of the geostationary orbit corresponding to Colombia is part of Colombia and states its understanding that no portion of this Treaty contradicts the rights claimed by the Colombian State, and that the Treaty shall, likewise, not be interpreted in violation of these rights.”



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