United Nations Outer Space Treaty of 1967. The treaty worked as the foundation upon which space law was and is being built while also serving as an inspiration to other pertinent agreements and conventions. The treaty was the founding body of space laws and it inspired several other international conventions and agreements.
“Outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States,” the Outer Space Treaty reads.
“The Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes,” the treaty reads.
No country is allowed to put nuclear weapons into orbit or for setting up any military base in space.
“Neither the surface nor the subsurface of the moon, nor any part thereof or natural resources in place shall become property of any state, international intergovernmental or non-governmental organization, national organization, or non-governmental entity or of any natural person,” the Moon Agreement reads.
Registration Convention law is similar to vehicle registration, however, apart from the age, model and ownership details you’re also required to register the spacecraft’s orbital path, launching place and its purpose in space.
Regardless of the activities being held by government or non-government group, the government is responsible for it.
There’s a whole another treaty known as Liability Convention that governs who will be held liable for damages incurred in space. The concept is simple enough; you break it, you bought it. This is also applicable to a spacecraft, space station or satellite crash-landing on Earth.
NASA and other space agencies are bound by treaty to do everything in their power to avoid any sort of contamination in outer space when spacecraft are sent for exploration of cosmos.
“States shall take all possible steps to rescue and assist astronauts in distress and promptly return them to the launching State,” the treaty reads.
Although the Outer Space Treaty doesn’t allow anyone to claim ownership of any property of space, the Space Act of 2015 has a controversial passage that seemingly allows the ownership of resources that have been harvested in space to individuals. The passage reads, “A United States citizen engaged in commercial recovery of an asteroid resource or a space resource under this chapter shall be entitled to any asteroid resource or space resource obtained, including to possess, own, transport, use, and sell the asteroid resource or space resource obtained in accordance with applicable law, including the international obligations of the United States.”