STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Wanted: Interplanetary Legal Experts to Hassle Asteroid Miners
By The Daily Bell Staff - August 28, 2017

Space police. When is it too soon to make a new federal policing agency to make sure no one is illegally mining asteroids?

We can call it the EPA, Extraterrestrial Protection Agency. They can ignore newly structured interplanetary property rights, and insist that space-dust runoff from the asteroid mining operations are causing mass extinctions on Mars.

You might think space would be vast enough so that property rights in the final frontier were not a huge issue. But to say politicians want to control everything on Earth is an understatement. They also want to control everything in space.

Legal experts are left wondering, how will taxes be structured for space mining companies? Who will own the resources mined? And does this violate a 1967 treaty which says nations cannot claim celestial bodies as their own?

Sane people are left wondering, really?

Why on earth–or in space–wouldn’t a company own the resources they extract from unoccupied asteroids? The issue of property in outer space is pretty obvious. If a company physically possesses something that they extracted in outer space, of course it is theirs.

Obviously, there are some issues when it comes to the Moon and Mars. But there is a precedent from when there were huge tracts of land to settle in the American West. Basically, it was first come first serve, and you only owned what you actually used. Hopefully, on the Moon and Mars, there won’t be any natives to displace.

Discussing taxes and legal jurisdiction when it comes to space just shows how far behind politicians and governments are. Especially because many of the companies are not even talking about bringing the resources back to Earth.

The company will launch its first robotic probe mission to scout asteroids for resource deposits in 2020, said Planetary Resources’ Chief Executive Chris Lewicki.

‘If you obtain a resource and bring it with you, it becomes your property,’ Lewicki said, citing recently passed space laws in the U.S. and Luxembourg that offer a legal framework to ensure that private operators can be confident about their rights over resources they extract in space.

‘You can sell, keep or deliver (space resources) peacefully,’ Lewicki told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The firm plans to extract oxygen and hydrogen – the components of water – from asteroids to sell.

Lewicki is not planning on bringing those water resources back to Earth; he wants to market them in space, creating a ‘gas station’ for other exploration missions.

Hydrogen and oxygen, kept at a docking station orbiting around Earth, will be used to fuel other space ships.

The companies should really just avoid all this trouble with Earthly governments and set up their corporate headquarters on a large asteroid. Then whose jurisdiction would they fall under?

Actually, space exploration by private companies gives us a whole new opportunity to define property rights, absent government.

Original appropriation, plus labor. Add in some sort of sunset provision about abandoned or un-kept properties. And all this can be decided in common law fashion. No crime is committed until someone brings a claim. In space, that might take some time–there are plenty of asteroids to go around.

The frontier that is truly exciting is space law. What will it look like when we rise above the statutes of Earth and interact in the cosmos?

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Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
  • davidnrobyn

    This is just man’s desire to “be like God” which has plagued us since the fall. Everything has to be under our control. What is government but collective man? It’s a form of idolatry.

    • John R Hanson

      Is this the true meaning of LONG ARM OF THE LAW?

    • nailheadtom

      “Everything has to be under our control. What is government but collective man?”

      No. Government is the apparatus that a gang uses to fleece collective man. The gang tries to give the impression that collective man has some input in a decision-making process but that’s obviously not the case. You’ll never be asked to approve or reject space regulation and neither will your neighbors.

    • Don Duncan

      That is the claim: govt. = all of us. But only a tiny few decide how that plays out, i.e., who gets what goodies, i.e., what justice is, i.e., what the law says, i.e., who gets sacrificed to the collective. And of course, the elite who decide are never sacrificed. It’s the same in all governments: collective totalitarianism.

  • James Clander

    Science Fiction in our life time. Click bait.

    • JohnnyZ

      “Science and science fiction are one and the same”, William Shatner

  • georgesilver

    “The company will launch its first robotic probe mission to scout asteroids for resource deposits in 2020, said Planetary Resources’ Chief Executive Chris Lewicki.”

    Looks to me like another scam. The same sort of thing that NASA seems so good at.

    First… nobody went to the Moon.
    Second… there is nobody in the International Space Station.
    Third… there is no ‘rover’ on Mars.

    You can chuck stuff into space on a big rocket but you can’t bring it back unless you have a massive amount of extra fuel to slow the returning spacecraft down. All of this fantasy idea that you can hit the upper atmosphere at an angle and slow down is pure rubbish. You also have the problem of gravity. The same applies to Mars.

    So unless there is a fleet of anti-gravity spaceships hidden somewhere the whole idea is a scam.

    • JohnnyZ

      You are correct, but it is even worse:
      1. There is no space flight at all. Probably there is no space either.
      2. Gravity, defined as a type of magnetic attraction proportionate to mass does not exist. There is a force pulling down objects to earth, but it is not “gravity”. All you need to explain the observed phenomena is buoyancy (in air, in water etc.). Gravity is no different than a mystical god explanation.

  • georgesilver

    Just a follow up on my previous comment.

    It’s an unfortunate sign of our ‘modern’ times that an ‘official’ expert, scientist or medical professional can step forward and present an idea and nobody questions it. The general public seem to have lost the ability to think things through and see how illogical they sometimes are. State mass education is probably the culprit. It rewards people who can regurgitate propaganda rather then teaching people how to think.

    • dauden

      Thanks for speaking out. Everything you say I have come to in my research and conclusions. Bravo!

  • Charles Barton

    1) Read Heinlen’s “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”
    2) Watch the sci-fi show “Firefly”….

    • Don Duncan

      Should be required reading/viewing in grammar school.

  • Rosicrucian32

    DC is full of space cadets with opinions, should be interesting.

  • Richard Burns

    Wake up people. “Space”,the “cosmos” and the “universe” are amongst the biggest lies and fraud perpetrated on the immovable,enclosed,flat Earth. It seems that some are convinced that no moon landings have occurred,but cannot take the next step and realise that the moon is a light.

    • JohnnyZ

      Correct! Joe Jarvis is green behind the ears.

    • Bri 3D

      Sorry Richard, I did some research on the flat earth and decided to check it out for myself. I went to the lighthouse in south daytona beach which is 11 miles south of the Daytona Pier. The Daytona Pier is not visible with a telescope from there. If you look at the pier from the satelite view there is a 5 story building near the pier with a light blue roof. You can only see the 2 top floors of that building from 11 miles away. This kinda proved curvature to me. Case closed. Although I admit I was a little disappointed by that.

      • JohnnyZ

        Well not so fast! Your observations are closer to confirming flat earth actually. 11 miles is about 17.7km. At that distance nothing that is lower than 25 meters should be visible (17.7^2*0.08). A 5 story building would be 17-20 meters high.

      • Richard Burns

        Bri 3D. No worries,but your research may be lacking. Did you discover that railways and bridges are constructed as if the world is flat? Zero allowance is made for curvature. Also level,horizontal flight in aircraft is not affected by curvature. Keep looking and try a better telescope. Cheers.

  • Bill

    Ever wonder why so called anti-gravity is never mentioned in space ventures, or on earth? Greedy rich humans know it’s their downfall.

    • Nicholas Van Pelt

      You very clearly don’t read much.

  • Don Duncan

    Space is TPTB’s worst nightmare, literally. They probably have nightmares that somewhere, someone is living free, uncontrolled by any authority, in anarchy. They dream that they show up and announce: “We’re here to protect you” and the free ask: “Who will protect us from you?” or reply: “We don’t need no stinking badges”.

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