Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

Quick Reference


A United Nations (UN) committee set up by the UN General Assembly in 1959 to review and support international cooperation over the peaceful use of outer space. To achieve this aim the committee encourages the international exchange of information on outer space matters, helps coordinate space research programmes within nations, and studies any legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space.

COPUOS originally consisted of 18 member states and by 2001 had a total of 61, making it one of the largest UN committees. A number of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations have observer status. The committee meets annually with its two standing subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. Its secretariat is the Office of Outer Space Affairs (OOSA).

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Reference entries