Technical Articles

What is BS EN 16708:2020?

BS EN 16708:2020 is a professional technical standard that focuses on Space industry operations and projects. It was released by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) to provide guidance and promote safety, reliability, and efficiency in space-related activities. This article will delve into the key aspects of BS EN 16708:2020 and its significance in the space industry.

Scope and Objectives

The primary objective of BS EN 16708:2020 is to define the requirements and recommendations for conducting space missions and operations. The standard covers a wide range of aspects, including system architecture, design, verification and validation, operations, maintenance, and disposal of space systems. Its scope extends to both manned and unmanned missions, encompassing launchers, satellites, robotic exploration, and other related activities.

Key Features and Highlights

BS EN 16708:2020 emphasizes the importance of quality management throughout all stages of space system development and operation. It highlights the need for risk assessment and mitigation strategies to ensure safety and mission success. The standard also promotes collaboration and information exchange among stakeholders, encouraging transparency and efficient communication.

One of the notable features of BS EN 16708:2020 is its focus on security and cybersecurity. As space systems become increasingly interconnected and dependent on digital technologies, protecting these systems from cyber threats is of paramount importance. The standard provides guidelines for implementing strong cybersecurity measures and ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data.

Benefits and Implications

By adhering to BS EN 16708:2020, organizations in the space industry can reap several benefits. The standard helps in reducing risks associated with space missions, thereby increasing the chances of mission success. It promotes efficient resource management and cost-effectiveness by providing guidelines for optimizing various aspects of space system design, development, and operation.

BS EN 16708:2020 also facilitates international cooperation and collaboration in the space industry. By establishing a common framework and set of guidelines, it enables seamless integration and interoperability among different systems and missions. This enhances efficiency, streamlines processes, and facilitates knowledge sharing and innovation within the industry.


BS EN 16708:2020 plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of the space industry. Its comprehensive approach to space system development and operations ensures safety, reliability, and efficiency. Adherence to this standard not only benefits organizations involved in space missions but also contributes to the advancement of scientific research, exploration, and commercial activities in space.


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