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posted by cmn32480 on Friday November 27 2015, @01:38AM   Printer-friendly
from the space-mining dept.

An event of cosmic proportions occurred on November 18 when the US congress passed the Space Act of 2015 into law. The legislation will give US space firms the rights to own and sell natural resources they mine from bodies in space, including asteroids.

Although the act, passed with bipartisan support, still requires President Obama's signature, it is already the most significant salvo that has been fired in the ideological battle over ownership of the cosmos. It goes against a number of treaties and international customary law which already apply to the entire universe.

The new law is nothing but a classic rendition of the "he who dares wins" philosophy of the Wild West. The act will also allow the private sector to make space innovations without regulatory oversight during an eight-year period and protect spaceflight participants from financial ruin. Surely, this will see private firms begin to incorporate the mining of asteroids into their investment plans.

The act represents a full-frontal attack on settled principles of space law which are based on two basic principles: the right of states to scientific exploration of outer space and its celestial bodies and the prevention of unilateral and unbridled commercial exploitation of outer-space resources. These principles are found in agreements including the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 and the Moon Agreement of 1979.

I learned everything I need to know about asteroid mining from Rip Foster. [Read it at Project Gutenberg. -Ed.]

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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday November 27 2015, @07:45AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 27 2015, @07:45AM (#268563) Homepage Journal

    I think that ultimately, "ownership" will devolve to those people who invest money, AND live there.

    Eventually, the problems with microgravities and radiation will be solved, in more or less satisfactory ways. The people who move out there, and live there, will "own" the resources. They will own those resources either before or after they rebel from terrestrial government control. The idiots at the bottom of the gravity well won't be able to impose their will on the people high up in the well for very long.

    Didn't Heinlein already write that story? A single shipping container, filled with any heavy mineral, especially a mineral that has been formed into a solid ingot, will be devastating when allowed to fall onto the earth at speed. Depending on the speed, one projectile might take out thousands of people, or it might take out millions. One projectile striking the downtown areas of the world's fifty biggest cities would be more than sufficient to stifle any saber rattling on earth.

    #warmonger #Biden #impeach_Mayorkas
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  • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Friday November 27 2015, @08:49AM

    Didn't Heinlein already write that story?

    Yup. And won a Hugo for it too. []

    No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr