In 2015 Congress passed a law to legalise mining in outer space—the first of its kind in the world.
Firms that some day manage to mine asteroids for resources like water or precious metals would henceforth be allowed to own, process, and sell anything harvested. The nascent space-mining industry was thrilled. The boss of a firm called Planetary Resources compared it to the Homestead Act of 1862—a law that gave up to 160 acres in the American West to any plucky settler willing to venture forth.
More recently Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, has talked about creating a more “permissive” regulatory environment in space and turning the moon into a “gas station” for further exploration. Other countries are following suit: Luxembourg passed a similar measure last year and earmarked €200m to invest in space-mining companies.
But not everyone is pleased. At the UN committee dealing with outer space, Russia condemned the American move, citing America’s “total disrespect” for international law. Critics say America is conferring rights that it has no authority to confer. There are indeed legal grey areas.
Who owns what in outer space?
Image Credit: © SPL
News This Week
The University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca plc, today announces interim trial data from its Phase III trials that show its candidate vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019, is effective at preventing COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and offers a [...]
A genetic modification in the ‘coat’ of a brain infection-causing virus may allow it to escape antibodies, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. They say testing people for this and other viral mutations [...]
Current chemotherapy regimens slow cancer progression and save lives, but these powerful drugs affect both healthy and cancerous cells. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Nano Letters have designed DNA-based nanogels that only break down and [...]
The new technology behind Pfizer's and Moderna's coronavirus vaccines could be used to prevent everything from heart disease to cancer, experts say. The breakthrough vaccine 'platform' they use transforms the body into a virus-zapping vaccine [...]
Current state-of-the-art techniques have clear limitations when it comes to imaging the smallest nanoparticles, making it difficult for researchers to study viruses and other structures at the molecular level. Scientists from the University of Houston [...]
Virtual patients, vaccines, medicine-making biomachines and microneedles are examples of tech innovation that is meeting the moment to address the global health crisis. Health has been a strong focus for this year’s top 10 [...]
A Vancouver company is central to the news Monday morning that Pfizer is close to developing an effective vaccine against the coronavirus. Pfizer said Monday that an early peek at the data on its [...]