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Luxembourg's Asteroid Mining is Legal Says Space Law Expert

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Luxembourg's Asteroid Mining is Legal Says Space Law Expert

Postby MrFredPFL » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:42 pm

Story :

The great orbs of rock and metal floating through outer space cannot be owned by any person or nation, yet on Tuesday, a law passed by the Luxembourg parliament earlier this month went into effect, making asteroid mining legal.

The law might seem like a violation of the 50-year-old Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits space ownership, yet the mining of celestial bodies is legal — for now, anyway.

The Luxembourg law creates a governing body to supervise the harvesting of these asteroids and serves as a critical component of the nation’s greater ambitions in outer space mining, called its Space Resources Initiative. The initiative’s stated mission is to “Contribute to the peaceful exploration and sustainable utilization of space resources for the benefit of humankind,” and so far includes a $230 million dollar fund to entice companies to set up space mining businesses in Luxembourg.

With the creation of cheaper rockets, the private space industry — led in large part by SpaceX’s reusable rockets — is regularly blasting into space, opening up moons, asteroids, and planets to almost certain exploration and prospecting. Luxembourg’s new law will give companies that operate out of Luxembourg ownership of the resources extracted from resource-rich asteroids, while not claiming sovereignty or ownership of any such massive space rock itself.

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