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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.

(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: 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 [] things, the smarter people would go to war over high stakes. Control of the whole Moon would be such high stakes.

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  • (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! []

    • (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 [] (over the US Toledo not the Spanish original) with one stab wound. I also thought of the Cod Wars [], 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.


        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh