The for all the science tits and space wankers to involunarity ejaculate. We have blogged on the looniness of Church Of Scienology evangelists who lobby governments to commit? to spending $£trillions on colonizing space even though getting beyond our solar system with current technology presents insurmountable obstacles.
Can you imagine the cost of getting a kilo of space dust back from some planet in even a nearby solar system
In a bipartisan bid to encourage commercial exploitation of outer space, the U.S. Senate this week unanimously passed the Space Act of 2015, which grants U.S. citizens or corporations the right to legally claim non-living natural resourcesincluding water and mineralsmined in the final frontier.
The legislation described by IGNs Jenna Pitcher as a celestial Finders Keepers lawcould be a direct affront to an international treaty that bars nations from owning property in space. The bill will now be sent back to the House of Representatives, which is expected to approve the changes, and then on to President Barack Obama for his anticipated signature.
The new Space Act allows ventures to keep and sell any natural resources mined on planets, asteroids and other celestial bodies. Commercial operations could reap trillions of dollars from mining precious metals like platinum, common metallic elements such as iron, and water, the oil of space.
Planetary Resources president and chief engineer Chris Lewicki added: Throughout history, governments have spurred growth in new frontiers by instituting sensible legislation. Long ago, The Homestead Act of 1862 advocated for the search for gold and timber, and today, H.R. 2262 fuels a new economy that will open many avenues for the continual growth and prosperity of humanity.
This off-planet economy, he said, will forever change our lives for the better here on Earth.
But there could be a snag. Along with Britain, France, and Russia, the U.S. is a signatory to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which reads in part: Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.
As Wired noted on Thursday, handing out the right to exploit chunks of space to your citizens sounds very much like a claim of sovereignty, despite the Space Acts direct statement that the United States does not thereby assert sovereignty or sovereign or exclusive rights or jurisdiction over, or the ownership of, any celestial body.
[O]n the one hand Congress is saying to these companies, Go get these rights and we’ll defend you, and at the same time saying, Were making no sovereign claim of ownership, space lawyer Michael Listner told the Guardian.
Theyre trying to dance around the issue, he said of U.S. lawmakers. I tend to think it doesnt create any rights because it conflicts with international law. The bottom line is before you can give somebody the right to harvest a resource you have to have ownership.
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