For as long as we've existed, humans have looked up at the stars — and wondered. What is up there? Who is out there?
Now, to that list of questions we can add: And CAN I HAVE IT?
The United States has already shown its penchant for claiming ownership of space-based things. There are not one, not two, but six U.S. flags on the moon, in case any of you other nations start getting ideas. (Never mind that the flags have all faded to a stateless white by now.)
So it only makes sense that American lawmakers would seek to guarantee property rights for U.S. space corporations. Under the SPACE Act, which just passed the House, businesses that do asteroid mining will be able to keep whatever they dig up:
Any asteroid resources obtained in outer space are the property of the entity that obtained such resources, which shall be entitled to all property rights thereto, consistent with applicable provisions of Federal law.This is how we know commercial space exploration is serious. The opportunity here is so vast that businesses are demanding federal protections for huge, floating objects they haven't even surveyed yet.
But it's actually important that we're talking about this now, because we don't want to wind up in a situation where multiple companies are fighting for the same patch of rock without having a way to resolve it. There are two key questions at stake: Who should regulate commercial space activity? And what rules should apply?Mining.com has more.
By default, the relevant authority could wind up being the Federal Aviation Administration....MORE
Previously on the Space Cadet channel:
Dec. 9, 2014
"The Price of Gold in the Year 2160"
Sept. 27, 2014"The companies vying to turn asteroids into filling stations"
May 14, 2014Jan. 22, 2013
Here Comes Another Asteroid Mining, 3D Printing, Robotic, Start-up
Dec. 27, 2012
Asteroid Mining: "A Start-Up Sees a Gold Rush Among the Stars"
April 22, 2012
Feb 6, 2012
Oct. 21, 2011
We've been following these plans at a distance, so to speak.