Small Satellites and the Regulation of Outer Space Activities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


In March 2019, reports emerged that a United States (US) private company,
Swarm Technologies, had arranged for several of its tiny micro-satellites to be
launched into orbit in January by an Indian launch vehicle, notwithstanding that the
US regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), had expressly
declined to authorize the launch. These “Swarm Bees” were very small – about
one-fourth of the size of a standard CubeSat – and the FCC therefore had formed the view that the difficulty in tracking these micro-satellites once they were in orbit
meant that they posed what was regarded as an unacceptable risk.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace Law: Legal Framework for Space Activities
EditorsThomas Leclerc
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-1-78945-152-8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


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