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13 June 20247 minute read

New trends and regulation of moon and outer space activities

Slovak Space Authorities – general overview

Institutions relevant in the Slovak Space Area:

  • Slovak Ministry of Transport (SMoT)
  • Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SMoFA)
  • Slovak Ministry of Education (SMoEdu)
  • Slovak Ministry of Economy (SMoEco)
  • Slovak Ministry of Defence (SMoD)
  • Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (RA)
  • Slovak Space Office (SSO)
  • European Space Agency (ESA)
  • Slovak Agency for Investment and Trade Development (SARIO)

In April 2024, Slovak Government has approved a legislative intent for a bill on the regulation of space activities which obliges SMoT to submit to Slovak Government a draft bill by 30 September 2024.



SSO was established by SMoEdu back in 1 January 2021 to manage space activities in Slovakia.

It consists of two components:

  • SMoEdu component is responsible for inter-ministerial political coordination.
  • SARIO component covers the implementation part of developing the space ecosystem, local and international partnerships.

SSO works to:

  • Coordinate inter-ministerial political and multilateral issues between SMoEdu, SMoEco, SMoT and international cooperation with ESA. 
  • Develop the Slovak space industry by attracting new companies and helping existing ones expand into the space sector.
  • Promote Slovakia’s space industry internationally. 
  • Increase public awareness of the space sector. 


Cooperation between Slovakia and ESA
  • Slovakia is an Associate Member of ESA (since 2021). Before, it was a Cooperating State.
  • Cooperation with ESA is secured by SSO.
  • Benefits of ESA membership for Slovakia:
  • Access to funding and participation in ESA projects.
  • Increased competitiveness of Slovak companies in the space sector.
  • Development of new technologies with applications on Earth.
  • Challenges of ESA membership for Slovakia:
  • Need to increase investment in the space sector.
  • Need to develop competences in new areas of the space sector.
  • Slovakia is focusing on developing its space industry in areas where it has existing strengths, such as remote Earth observation, space security, and satellite hardware.
  • SSO is working to increase public awareness of the space sector and its benefits.
  • Slovakia is expected to become a Full Member of ESA by 2029. 
Relevant space regulations, upcoming Slovak Space Act in preparation

Slovakia is a party to several international treaties regulating space activities:

  • Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (Outer Space Treaty);
  • Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space (Rescue Agreement);
  • Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (Space Liability Convention);
  • Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (Registration Convention).

In addition to the above international treaties, on 22 May 2024, Slovak Government decided that Slovakia will access to the Artemis Accords on peaceful space exploration. The Artemis Accords are an initiative of USA. Of the 193 United Nations States, 39 States have accessed to the Artemis Accords so far (40 together with USA). ESA (of which Slovakia is an Associate Member), also participates in the Artemis programme. Based on the materials published by Slovak Government, for Slovakia, the Artemis Accords represent a platform for deepening cooperation in space research, development and industry with USA, as well as other participating countries. The main benefits of Slovakia’s accession to the Artemis Accords include:

  • demonstrating the country’s commitment to the international community in the area of security, sustainable and transparent use and exploration of outer space;
  • joining an active community of countries that have set out together on a path to security, responsible and sustainable space exploration;
  • building contacts with partner countries.

From national perspective, many EU Member States have a long history of space activities. They have the necessary systems, infrastructure, national agencies and bodies associated with the space segment and have set up legislative and regulatory frameworks (in line with the respective international treaties).

Today, 11 EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Greece, Finland, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Sweden and Slovenia) have already adopted their own space laws at national level to ensure the safety and sustainability of space activities.

Other EU Member States are in the process of drafting and approving national legislation.

In Slovakia, SMoT is currently preparing a draft bill on the regulation of space activities (Slovak Space Act) based on a legislative intent approved by Slovak Government in April 2024. The draft bill shall be submitted by SMoT to Slovak Government by 30 September 2024.

The purpose of the Slovak Space Act is to create appropriate legislation and regulatory framework that will remove the current legal vacuum and kick-start a more active development of space activities in Slovakia. The intensification of space activities together with technical and technological developments may, in the absence of national legislation, lead to violations of international conventions and, at the same time, to the unregulated exercise of space activities in Slovakia.

Slovak Space Act should provide a basis for the creation of new entities for which the current legal vacuum creates investment uncertainty.

The preparation of national space legislation was initiated by SMoFA. Subsequently, SMoT took over the responsibility for the preparation. Public involvement in the drafting process is covered by SMoEdu.

The Slovak Space Act will establish that space activities can be carried out only on the basis of a license. SMoT as the competent authority to issue licenses will:

  1. decide which entities meet the conditions laid down by law and are therefore eligible to carry out space activities,
  2. control that these entities comply with the conditions laid down throughout the entire period of exercising space activities,
  3. decide whether space objects fulfil the conditions laid down by law for commissioning and
  4. supervise that space objects comply with the respective conditions throughout the entire period of their operation.

In addition to the conditions under which a license for space activities can be issued, the Slovak Space Act will also regulate formal requirements for the application and timeframe for the issuance of the license. At the same time, it is expected that the Slovak Space Act will also require as part of the licensing process comments from other relevant authorities:

  • in particular SMoD and SMoEdu;
  • part of licensing process will also be the satellite notification to International Telecommunication Union, international coordination of frequencies used by the respective satellite and submission of an individual authorisation for the use of frequencies (issued by RA on the basis of legislation regulating electronic communications).

In addition to licensing process, Slovak Space Act will also regulate liability for damages and right of recourse (in this respect, it is expected that the Slovak Space Act will require mandatory liability insurance of the entities applying for a license for space activities), supervision and sanctions and national register of the space objects.

At this moment, the expected timeframe when the Slovak Space Act comes into force has not been set yet.


Other relevant information: Space cluster in Košice

In 2023, city of Košice has established its first Space Cluster via Slovak Organisation for Space Activities (a non-governmental organisation providing entry point for small investors for R&D regarding smaller projects).

Space Cluster is a collaborative hub for space research.

Universities, research institutions and businesses signed a memorandum to formalize cooperation.

Technicom University Science Park in Košice will serve as the base, fostering connections between academic community, industry and young entrepreneurs from the university.

This initiative aims to attract more companies to the region and leverage space data for practical applications. It also provides students with valuable research and internship opportunities. The cluster will play a crucial role in developing a strong space industry ecosystem in Slovakia.