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Space Rocks For Sale

from The Washington Post

The House just passed a bill about space mining. The future is here.

Artist concept of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) 70-metric-ton configuration launching to space. (NASA/MSFC)

For as long as we’ve existed, humans have looked up at the stars — and wondered. What is up there? Who is out there?

Now, to that list of questions we can add: And CAN I HAVE IT?

The United States has already shown its penchant for claiming ownership of space-based things. There are not one, not two, but six U.S. flags on the moon, in case any of you other nations start getting ideas. (Never mind that the flags have all faded to a stateless white by now.)

So it only makes sense that American lawmakers would seek to guarantee property rights for U.S. space corporations. Under the SPACE Act, which just passed the House, businesses that do asteroid mining will be able to keep whatever they dig up:

Any asteroid resources obtained in outer space are the property of the entity that obtained such resources, which shall be entitled to all property rights thereto, consistent with applicable provisions of Federal law.

This is how we know commercial space exploration is serious. The opportunity here is so vast that businesses are demanding federal protections for huge, floating objects they haven’t even surveyed yet.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Posted on May 22, 2015 by Editor

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