Definition of Heritage in Outer Space

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“Human Heritage in Outer Space” means all indications of human expression and achievement which occur in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, having a cultural, social, political, historical, archaeological, technological or other scientific character, such as:

  1. Space Objects: any spacecraft or other space objects, including their component parts, together with their archaeological and environmental context;
  2. Space Structures: any structure or building together with its archaeological and environmental context;
  3. Archaeological Material: any artifact, human, animal or other biological remains;
  4. Sites: any location where a significant event took place, including any location on a celestial body, a structure, a natural place, or in relative space, which represents a locality of significance and whereupon human achievements occurred in the discovery of or interaction with celestial bodies, natural sites, features, or beings. Such locations do not require the presence of any physical remains or indicators but must be associated to a significant event;
  5. Culture: the varied ways which permit life, civilization and communication, including through transmission, diverse modes of artistic creation, travel, production dissemination, distribution and enjoyment, whatever the means and technologies used;
  6. Cultural Values: symbolic markers and technological advances that originate from or express human identity or achievements;
  7. Creative: expressions that result from human creativity and that have cultural and historic content; and
  8. Activity: direct or indirect human activity which at the time considered for a specific attribute, use or purpose, embodies or conveys human ingenuity, irrespective of the commercial value it may produce. Such activities may be ends in themselves, or they may contribute to the production, distribution or facilitation of goods, services or human capabilities beyond Earth.

In order to effect and actuate measures to protect and conserve an element of Human Heritage in Outer Space, that element must:

  1. be of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, conservation, ethnology, anthropology, technology, or other science;
  2. be among humanity’s most significant achievements of that kind in outer space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies;
  3. occur or subsist in outer space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies;
  4. be nominated by the launching State, State responsible for the national space activities which resulted in the element, or another appropriate State; and
  5. be determined by an international body to be designated “Protected Human Heritage” and placed on the Registry of Protected Human Heritage in Outer Space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies. The international body shall also recommend measures, if any, required to protect and conserve any elements designated as Protected Human Heritage.

Whilst fully respecting the jurisdiction and control retained over a space object by its launching State, State of registry, as well as the rights of ownership over space objects, the States Parties recognize that any element designated Protected Human Heritage, and the archaeological and environmental context in which it is located, constitutes human heritage for whose protection it is the duty of the international community as a whole to cooperate.

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