Some have said that the race to own space via asteroid mining is a very wrong and illegal act.
On the 18th of November, the US Congress passed the Space Act of 2015. According to this statute, a race to own space will begin and we don’t know where it is going to end. Space companies in the United States and elsewhere will get the chance to gain possession and auction off minerals and precious metals mined from asteroids.
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The act has yet to bear the signature of President Obama, but it is for all purposes a done deal. It is almost like the rights of man have been extended from terrestrial pursuits to the vast battleground that is outer space.
The idea is not new but it definitely flies in the face of many laws that have already been passed regarding the universe. It is almost a case of “Might is Right” and exemplifies the Wild West with its raw justice.
Furthermore, the private sector will show some creativity in space matters for the next decade or so. The mining of asteroids and planets will figure somewhere in the mix.
The Space Act is a very bold step that sets space exploration and resource hunting free from the control of big government. Now finally all those who want to satisfy their itch for gain and greed may explore the vast and unending expanse of outer space for minerals and all sorts of valuable natural materials.
But the fact remains that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Space mining is not the sole preserve of the United States. Other nations and ethnic enclaves have just as much of a right as the Yankees.
The bone of contention remains the one-sided exploitation of space by a superpower. The rest of the nations of the world are automatically going to raise quite a ruckus about this unfair act of utter injustice.
Just because you have the means to do something does not mean you may do anything you please. In 1967 and 1979, a treaty and an agreement were signed that stated so in plain words. Yet today these very words are being obliterated by the needs of the times.
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A dozen or so states already have access to outer space. And their numbers are most likely to grow in the future. There are several important and crucial questions that this greed for materials in space opens up. They will have to be answered before any step is taken in the direction of asteroid mining.