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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 03 2020, @02:59PM   Printer-friendly
from the Keep-your-hands-off-of-my-stash dept.

Could corporations control territory in space? Under new US rules, it might be possible:

First, the Artemis Accords go beyond simply rejecting the unpopular 1979 Moon Agreement, which declared lunar resources to be the "common heritage of mankind" and committed parties to establish an international regime to oversee space mining. Only 18 countries have signed the treaty.

In its place, the accords envisage a US-centric framework of bilateral agreements in which "partner nations" agree to follow US-drafted rules.

Second, the accords introduce the concept of "safety zones" around lunar operations.

Although territorial claims in space are prohibited under international law, these safety zones would seek to protect commercial and scientific sites from inadvertent collisions and other forms of "harmful interference". What kinds of conduct could count as harmful interference remains to be determined.

Previously:
(2020-06-02) Third European Service Module for Artemis Mission to Land Astronauts on the Moon
(2020-05-16) NASA Wants Partner Nations to Agree to "Artemis Accords" for Lunar Exploration
(2020-03-12) CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV-2) Roundup 2020-03-12
(2018-07-22) Who Owns The Moon? A Space Lawyer Answers
(2018-03-07) China to Recruit Civilian Astronauts, Partner With Russia on Upcoming Missions
(2018-01-09) Russia Assembles Engineering Group for Lunar Activities and the Deep Space Gateway
(2017-10-18) Bigelow and ULA to Put Inflatable Module in Orbit Around the Moon by 2022
(2015-11-26) Who Owns Space? USA's Asteroid-Mining Act is Dangerous and Potentially Illegal

Robert Heinlein explored the notion in a novel. Does the future of space exploration lie with governments or corporations?


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by turgid on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:00PM (13 children)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:00PM (#1002775) Journal

    I foresee China, SpaceX and possibly Russia going to war over the Moon. Russia and China have nukes. SpaceX does not (yet) but it does have better rockets. Maybe Fake President Pull-My-Finger will sell Elon a few old nukes for cheap.

    --
    Now I am become PHB, the destroyer of dreams.
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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by nitehawk214 on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:05PM (9 children)

    by nitehawk214 (1304) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:05PM (#1002780)

    Why would anyone go to war over the moon when there is so much of it?

    And as long as corporation's headquarters are here on Earth, and their supplies are launched from places on Earth, this is the place you fight them.

    The Outer Space Treaty says that things in space are dealt with by the country of origin of the launch vehicle.

    --
    "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by turgid on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:09PM (2 children)

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:09PM (#1002783) Journal

      Power, control, pride, possession... all the usual things people go to war over. There will be all sorts of posturing and petty disputes that will be "solved" through violence. Imagine the prestige of winning the first ever space war?

      --
      Now I am become PHB, the destroyer of dreams.
      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:00PM

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:00PM (#1002822)

        What's surprising? This is the US we're talking about, the country that has been at war for 93% of its existence [globalresearch.ca].

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:07PM (#1002824)

        If there are valuable deposits it seems probable they will not be evenly distributed. Typical fight for resources.

        Would be nice if humanity united so we wouldn't have to kill people over who gets the resources.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:59PM (#1002820)

      I can imagine some places on the moon being much more valuable than others. For example, the poles could be pretty useful to dig for ice, or to erect solar panel towers in permanent daylight.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:08PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:08PM (#1002826) Journal

      Why would anyone go to war over the moon when there is so much of it?

      Because you find water only on a little of it. You know? That polar solvent that any human is addicted to the point that the withdrawal symptoms is usually fatal?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:33PM (3 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:33PM (#1002848) Journal

      Why would anyone go to war over the moon when there is so much of it?

      Because there is so much of it. While shooting wars have started over remarkably stupid [wikipedia.org] things, the smarter people would go to war over high stakes. Control of the whole Moon would be such high stakes.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @08:21PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @08:21PM (#1003345)

        I'll see your football war and raise you one bucket!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Bucket [wikipedia.org]

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday June 05 2020, @03:21AM (1 child)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 05 2020, @03:21AM (#1003542) Journal
          Both wars have all the right attributes - start over silly circumstances and end up a waste of time for both sides. War of the Bucket gets extra points for being rather bloody and pointless, 2000 people died with a complete reset of the political situation inside of a year - though the bucket has yet to return.

          In the real world, I have been informed of the great and terrible Toledo War [wikipedia.org] (over the US Toledo not the Spanish original) with one stab wound. I also thought of the Cod Wars [wikipedia.org], a series of three mighty conflicts between Iceland and the UK with much trading of paint and one death.
          • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Monday June 08 2020, @12:48AM

            by nitehawk214 (1304) on Monday June 08 2020, @12:48AM (#1004675)

            Not to be confused with the Cold War.

            Nice.

            --
            "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:49PM (2 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:49PM (#1002811)

    Musky boy is trying to build a case [space.com] to give himself control of more nuclear weapons than currently exist...

    --
    My karma ran over your dogma.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:03PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:03PM (#1002869)

      He is becoming quite unhinged these days. Wonder what is going on with him.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday June 04 2020, @11:50AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 04 2020, @11:50AM (#1003142) Journal
        He's probably way too spread out between all his business interests and he tweets.