Congress Considers Legislation to Regulate Mineral Mining in Space

The United States House of Representatives is considering legislation that would protect ownership rights for companies that set up mining operations in space. If enacted into law, the American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space (ASTEROIDS) Act stipulates that “any resources obtained in outer space are the property of the entity that obtained such resources, which shall be entitled to all property rights thereto.”

It further requires that the United States government take action to promote, and avoid actions to hinder, the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources in outer space.

From Bloomberg News:

Nobody is going to start mining asteroids this year, or even this decade. But that hasn’t stopped entrepreneurs — including Cameron, who is an investor in and adviser to Planetary Resources, an asteroid prospecting company — from dreaming and seeking funding. Next year Virginia-based Deep Space Industries is planning to launch a fleet of 55-pound satellites to find asteroids worth sampling, followed by craft designed to dig out and bring rocks back to Earth.

So while outer space mining operations aren’t coming anytime soon, at least it’s nice to know that this Congress is thinking ahead…at least on this issue.

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