Registration Convention

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Registration Convention
Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space
Signed 12 November 1974
Location New York
Effective 15 September 1976
Condition 5 ratifications
Signatories 25
Parties 61
Depositary Secretary-General of the United Nations
Languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
  signed, but not yet ratified

The Convention on Registration of Launched Objects into Outer Space (Registration Convention) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1974[1][2] and went into force in 1976. As of 2014, it has been ratified by 61 states.[3]

The convention requires states to furnish to the United Nations with details about the orbit of each space object. A registry of launchings was already being maintained by the United Nations as a result of a General Assembly Resolution in 1962.[4][5]

The Registration Convention and four other space law treaties are administered by the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.[inconsistent]

The European Space Agency and European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites have submitted declarations of acceptance of rights and obligations according to the convention.[6]

Current status[edit]

The register is kept by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and includes[7]

  • Name of launching State
  • An appropriate designator of the space object or its registration number
  • Date and territory or location of launch
  • Basic orbital parameters (Nodal period, Inclination, Apogee and Perigee)
  • General function of the space object

Information on registered objects is available at the UNOOSA site


A General Assembly resolution from December 2007 that was accepted by consensus recommended that the data should be extended to include:[8]

  • Coordinated Universal Time as the time reference for the date of launch;
  • Kilometres, minutes and degrees as the standard units for basic orbital parameters;
  • Any useful information relating to the function of the space object in addition to the general function requested by the Registration Convention
  • The geostationary orbit location, if appropriate
  • Any change of status in operations (e.g., when a space object is no longer functional)
  • The approximate date of decay or re-entry
  • The date and physical conditions of moving a space object to a disposal orbit
  • Web links to official information on space objects


As of 2008, more than 200 dead satellites littered the part of space near geostationary orbit. Within 10 years, that number could increase fivefold, warns a report by the UN. The resulting chaos could lead to serious damage or loss of a spacecraft.[9]


  1. ^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3235 session 29 Convention on Registration of Objects Launched Into Outer Space on 12 November 1974
  2. ^ "Resolution 3235 (XXIX) - Convention on Registration of Objects Launched Into Outer Space". UNOOSA. 12 November 1974. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1721 session 16 International co-operation in the peaceful uses of outer space on 20 December 1962
  5. ^ "1721 (XVI) - International Cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space". 20 December 1962. 
  6. ^ Status of International Agreements relating to activities in outer space as at 1 January 2012
  7. ^ "Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space". UNOOSA. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  8. ^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 101 session 62 page 3 on 17 December 2007 (retrieved 2008-03-13)
  9. ^ McKie, Robin (24 February 2008). "Warning of catastrophe from mass of 'space junk' - 'Failure to act would be folly,' says report to UN". London: The Observer. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 

External links[edit]