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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 Gravis on Friday November 27 2015, @12:36PM

    by Gravis (4596) on Friday November 27 2015, @12:36PM (#268629)

    It seems like people haven't thought to consider what the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 is actually about. I mean, how do you get 104 countries all over the world to agree to a bunch of seemingly random treaties about space all the way back in 1967? I'll tell you, it's about testing nuclear weapons. the USA and the USSR were performing high-altitude nuclear explosions [] for stupid reasons and basically, we scared ourselves with one called Starfish Prime [] (video []) that was a 1 megaton detonation that caused a huge EMP, damaged satellites and created a radiation belt that took years to dissipate. All this drama lead to the creation of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

    So... you wanna mine an asteroid? well the only requirement is you have to actually go there and not blow it up with a nuke. ;)

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