Authorisation for space activities

When is authorisation required for space activities?

Space activities may only be carried on if the activities have been authorised in advance by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Space activities mean launching a space object into outer space, operation and other control of a space object in outer space, and measures to return a space object and its return to the Earth. The procurement of the launching or operation of a space object from an external service provider is also a space activity subject to authorisation. Examples of space objects include satellites, probes and launch vehicles.

Provisions on authorisation for space activities are laid down in the Act on Space Activities (63/2018) and the Decree of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on Space Activities.

A written, free-format application for authorisation to carry on space activities must be submitted to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment at least six months before the planned launch of a space object or three months before the acquisition of a space object in orbit. When planning the transfer of space activities to another operator, a written application for authorisation must also be submitted to the Ministry at least three months before the transfer. 

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment recommends that applicants contact the Ministry well in advance before the deadline. This helps to assess before the submission of the application whether or not the planned activity indeed requires an authorisation and to make sure the information necessary for the consideration of the application is included in the application.

In their applications, operators must present reliable evidence as is necessary for considering the application. Applications for authorisations may also be supplemented during the consideration period. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment may also request information necessary for the consideration of an authorisation application. On receipt of an application, the Ministry will inform the applicant of the estimated processing time of the application.

Granting and period of validity of authorisations for space activities

An authorisation for space activities may be granted if the space activities fulfil the criteria laid down in the Act on Space Activities and in the provisions laid down under the Act. Conditions necessary for the safe conduct and supervision of the space activities may be attached to the authorisation.

An authorisation fee is payable by the applicant for the processing of an authorisation application.

Further information:

Maija Lönnqvist
maija.lonnqvist(at)tem.fi