States Parties to the Treaty shall undertake activities for the exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting cooperation and understanding international. Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty deals with international responsibility and provides that the activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall require the authorization and continuous supervision of the State Party concerned to the Treaty and that States Parties shall assume international responsibility for national space activities, whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities. In 1958 and 1959, two international committees, the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), were established to promote international cooperation in scientific research and promote the peaceful use of outer space. The ownership of objects launched into outer space, including objects launched or constructed in a celestial body, and their component parts, is not affected by their presence in outer space or in a celestial body, or by their return to Earth.
Their facilities and spacecraft will be open, on a reciprocal basis, to representatives of other countries, and all parties agree to carry out activities in outer space in an open manner and in accordance with international law. In order to promote international cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, States parties to the Treaty engaged in outer space activities, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, agree to inform the Secretary-General of the United Nations, as well as the public and the the international scientific community, to the greatest extent possible and practicable, of the nature, conduct, location and results of these activities. Between 1959 and 1962, Western nations made proposals to the United Nations (UN) to prohibit states from orbiting and placing weapons of mass destruction in outer space. The 1968 Rescue Agreement further expanded article 5 of the Outer Space Treaty, which states that all States have an obligation to rescue or assist spacecraft personnel if they are in danger or in an emergency situation.
The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a multilateral treaty that forms the basis of international space law. Today, fifty years ago, the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom opened a treaty for signature that would become the backbone of international space law. After successfully reaching consensus on the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, countries were eager to apply these already agreed terms to outer space. The United States proposed another treaty in 1965 and 1966, which eventually became the Outer Space Treaty.
It has become an important aspect of all planetary missions undertaken by NASA and other space agencies. Under the terms of the treaty, the parties are prohibited from placing nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit, on the Moon or on other bodies in space. Depositary Governments shall transmit duly certified copies of this Treaty to the Governments of signatory and acceding States. OST provided many practical uses and was the most important link in the chain of international legal agreements for space from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s.