China Releases Commercial Launch Vehicle Rules

Chinese OS-M commercial rocket (Credit: OneSpace)

SpaceNews reports that the Chinese government has released a set of rules for its growing commercial launch sector.

The document outlines rules for the research, development, testing of launch vehicles, safety, confidentiality and export control, interaction with launch sites, dealing with propellants, as well as listing supporting laws and regulations for China’s space activities.

The rules also clarify what qualifications are required by commercial aerospace enterprises, the scope of business, as well as what support may be obtained from the government, and underlines the role of the civil-military integration national strategy in fostering development in the sector.

The regulations (Chinese) were jointly developed by the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND), which oversees the country’s space activities, and the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission and announced June 10.

The formulation of guidelines has largely been a top-down process, with no indication of involvement of commercial space actors. A wider, first national space law has been included in the legislative plan of China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, and could be introduced before 2023.