Alden Orrery – Regulatory Briefing – January 2024

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

Alden orrery Jan24


Regulatory Briefing – January 2024





Cyprus Enacts National Space Legislation

The Republic of Cyprus enacted its Law on the Authorisation of Space Activities, the Registration of Space Objects and Related Matters (Cyprus Space Law) in October 2023.

The new law establishes regulations for the registration of space objects, authorisation processes for space activities, insurance requirements, liability for damages, measures for mitigating space debris and compliance with international obligations.

The Cyprus Space Law also provides that space activities must be conducted in an environmentally friendly manner that promotes the sustainable use of space.

The full Cyprus Space Law can be accessed here.



Alper Gezeravci Becomes Turkey’s First Astronaut to reach Space

 Alper Gezeravci became the first Turkish astronaut to reach orbit on 18 January 2023. SpaceX launched Axiom Space’s third private astronaut mission, sending Gezeravci and three European astronauts to the International Space Station.

The mission, known as Ax-3, is the third mission organised by Axiom Space which seeks to gain experience in spaceflight operations as Axiom Space prepares to install commercial modules on a space station that will later form the core of a standalone commercial space station upon the retirement of the International Space Station.



North America

United States (US)

Anticipated ITAR Rulemaking Developments for 2024

The State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) recently updated its list of planned rulemaking concerning the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and US Munitions list (USML).

DDTC’s anticipated rulemaking list includes 16 intended actions. Key anticipated developments include: proposed revisions to defence services; revisions of the USML; a potential increase in ITAR registration fees; changes in how the ITAR handles “deemed exports” and “deemed reexports” of technical data; clarifications regarding non-controlled events; modifications to the definition of a ‘regular employee’; consolidation of licensing provisions and exemptions; and a final rule expanding the personal protective equipment (PPE) exemption.

It has been recommended that parties affected by or interested in these rulemaking developments should monitor their progress and consider submitting public comments when the applicable notice appears in the Federal Register.


US Department of Defense signs memorandum to remove space classification barriers

The US Department of Defense announced on 17 January 2024 that it has signed a memorandum that “removes legacy classification barriers that have inhibited [the Department of Defense’s’] ability to collaborate across the US government and also with allies on issues related to space”.

Holding an off-camera but on-the-record press briefing, Dr John Plumb, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, stated that reducing secrecy levels could help to enhance collaboration with allies and private industry without compromising sensitive information, where sharing information about space threats is at the core of a new Department of Defense space cooperation strategy.

Dr Plumb also highlighted that work on a new strategy for integrating commercial space capabilities into defence programs is ongoing, and that the US Space Force is also drafting its own commercial integration plan, which is nearing completion.





The Egyptian Space Agency signs Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Saudi Space Agency.

 The Egyptian Space Agency and the Saudi Space Agency (SSA) signed a MoU for cooperation in space activities for peaceful purposes on 20 December 2023.

The MoU mainly seeks to facilitate cooperation on space activities. It aims to strengthen collaboration in areas of mutual interest concerning the peaceful use of outer space as well as the exchange of information and technologies. Beyond this, the MoU aims to catalyse collaborative research and development initiatives in allied fields.



Middle East

United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates (UAE) and NASA Announce Artemis Lunar Gateway Airlock Module

The UAE’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced on 7 January 2024 that the UAE would contribute to the Crew and Science Airlock module for the Artemis lunar Gateway (Gateway).

Built in collaboration with international and commercial partners, Gateway aims to be the first space station to orbit the Moon and is a vital component of the NASA-led Artemis missions to return to the Moon. The UAE’s contribution to the Crew and Science Airlock module for Gateway will allow astronauts to leave and return to the Gateway to perform spacewalks outside the Gateway as well as install and retrieve external science payloads.

As part of the agreement, the UAE will get a seat on a future Artemis mission.





 India’s Telecommunications Act 2023 receives Presidential assent

 India’s Telecommunications Act 2023, passed by the Parliament on 21 December 2023, received Presidential assent on 24 December 2023.

The Act provides an updated comprehensive framework for the Indian telecommunications sector. The Act seeks to streamline India’s previous licensing system and cement rules for spectrum allocation. Notably, the Act also provides for the Indian Government to intercept telecommunications on specified grounds including the security of state, public order or prevention of offences.

The full Act can be read here.



Japan becomes fifth country to land on the Moon

Japan successfully landed an un-crewed spacecraft “Moon Sniper” on the lunar surface on 19 January 2024. The landing makes Japan the fifth country to land on the Moon after the US, the former Soviet Union, China and India.

The Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) has described the mission as a “major milestone”, and a big step forward for future space exploration. Whilst the precision landing was a success, JAXA’s president, Hiroshi Yamakawa, stated that the agency would need around one month to analyse it.



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