Science

US Establishes Rights To Own Resources In Space

By Paul Pajarillo , Nov 12, 2015 12:30 AM EST
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The United States Congress is legislating a bill that legalizes mining ventures in outer space. Planetary Resources is of the highest interest about property rights to mine nearby asteroids and potentially extract minerals that they can retrieve back to Earth or aboard the International Space Station.

After gruelling months of deliberation, the United States Congress is finalizing legislation that legalizes U.S. citizens to own resources in space. This is a pre-requisite for mining ventures in nearby Earth asteroids and establishments like Planetary Resources.

"Many years from now, we will view this pivotal moment in time as a major step toward humanity becoming a multi-planetary species," Redmond-based Planetary Resources co-chairman and co-founder Eric Anderson said. "This legislation establishes the same supportive framework that created the great economies of history, and it will foster the sustained development of space."

The bill will establish the same framework support that moulded history's great economies, and will adopt sustained development outside Earth territories. This will also extend a learning process, regulation for commercialized ventures in space up to 2023. This also confirms that the ISS will stay operational up to 2024. The bill also lengthens an agreement for commercial space launches up to 2025.

It took some time for the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate  to pass an amendment that can integrate the requirements agreed upon by the Upper and Lower Houses of the U.S.  Congress. Fortunately, the bill was sent back to the House of Representatives for final passage. Once done, the bill will be sent to the White House for the President's approval, thus making it a law.

Planetary Resources is an asteroid mining company that works on identifying nearby asteroids on earth that are potentially rich in mining materials. Mining asteroids could potentially provide fuel, oxygen, and water, gathering supplies for space explorers in the future, even extracting metal groups like platinum and sending it back to Earth. If all goes well, asteroid mining ventures could start as early as 2020.

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