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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: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27 2015, @08:29AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27 2015, @08:29AM (#268577)

    That's silly. It's like saying there are some many resources on Earth that why bother warring. There will be asteroids that contain more valuable stuff than the next asteroid. There are asteroids that are closer to us in the vastness of space. The will be the same political bickering and shock and awe bullshit in space too, make no mistake.

    Also, much of scarcity on Earth is man made, I'm sure that too will follow us to space should we as a species ever make it...

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