The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) was established in 1958 (shortly after the launch of Sputnik) as an ad hoc committee. In 1959, it was formally established by United Nations resolution 1472 (XIV).
The mission of COPUOS is "to review the scope of international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, to devise programmes in this field to be undertaken under United Nations auspices, to encourage continued research and the dissemination of information on outer space matters, and to study legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space."
The Committee has two subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee.
COPUOS oversees the implementation of five treaties and agreements:
As of 2011, the Committee has 71 member States and is one of the largest committees of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The member States of the Committee are: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Hungary, Germany,