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The government will seek approval from the Dáil for the Outer Space Treaty.

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Since 2015, the number of Irish enterprises participating in space operations has increased by 60%.

THE GOVERNMENT WILL MOTION IN THE DAIL FOR APPROVAL OF THE OUTER SPACE TREATY, a piece of legislation that governs the exploration and usage of the last frontier.

The Tánaiste requested the Cabinet this evening to approve the resolution, citing space as an area of growing importance for Ireland, with the number of enterprises operating here and working with the European Space Agency (ESA) increasing by about 60% in the previous five years.

The convention establishes the fundamental principles of international space law, ranging from barring the deployment of weapons of mass destruction in Outer Space to assuring that nations cannot assert national sovereignty over any area of Space.

It also compels states to hold non-governmental entities accountable for their acts, a requirement that has emerged in disagreements between China and the US over the operations of Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The number of Irish enterprises involved in space activities has increased from 55 in 2015 to 87 by 2020.

According to a spokeswoman, the Department of Enterprise is doing a legal and policy examination to ensure that Ireland has a supporting framework in place for potential future launches of commercial or educational space objects.

This evening, Leo Varadkar requested Cabinet colleagues to authorise the Dáil to ratify the conditions of the Treaty on Principles Governing States’ Activities in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (Outer Space Treaty).

The motion would also approve the conditions of the International Liability Convention for Damage Caused by Space Objects (Liability Convention).

According to the spokesman, the national space plan for enterprise provides a path for future investment in the space sector, and Ireland’s continued participation in ESA is an important part of that strategy.

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