President Donald Trump has made an essential step for space mining by signing a new executive order which supports the exploration of harnessing of space resources for the benefit of American companies and citizens.
The order defines the U.S. view on the gathering and use of space resources, including water and minerals. Titled “Encouraging International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources,” the document mentions that Americans have the right to explore space for commercial purposes, including the recovery and employment of resources that can be found in the outer space.
While the U.S. encourages other countries to do the same, the current views of the country are against the 1979 Moon Treaty. The U.S. did not sign the treaty, but the countries who did agree that non-scientific use of the resources found in space has to be overseen by an international regulatory framework, with the primary aim being the need to avoid any potential foul play.
Trump has given the green light to space mining
Armed with the executive order, American companies that mine in space will have the right to collect and use any resources that can be found. Outer space is perceived as a legal and exceptional domain of activity, and it should not be perceived as the common property of the world.
It is worth mentioning that a similar document was passed by the U.S. in 2015, empowering individuals and companies to gather resources from the moon and asteroids.
NASA has also published a new long-term framework for the development of projects on the moon, with a primary goal being the establishment of permanent camp on the southern pole of the object.
The initiative exhibited by the executive order has been saluted by Canada, Australia, China, and the United Arab Emirates, to name a few. Some aren’t as happy, with a Russian spokesman stating that any attempt to privatize space mining is unacceptable.