The Cosmos

Barack Obama Says You Can Now Mine Asteroids In Space For Big Money. Here’s How…

The USA doesn't own space, but sometimes it likes to think it does...

Photo: iStock

Did you know that last week – when the people of America were carving their Thanksgiving turkeys – President Barack Obama was signing the Space Act of 2015?

The Space Act of 2015 is meant to be a way of encouraging small independent space companies.

It allows them to launch rockets with little government interference and gives them property rights to any resources they mine from asteroids. Like water and minerals.

Just to give you some background, no one nation “owns” space. The USA among Russia, China and other nations signed the Outer Space Treaty (yes, really) to make sure.

This means some people are already getting a little arsey about the USA coming in and handing out the universe’s resources – as though they belong to them.

Some people are getting a little arsey about the USA coming in and handing out the universe’s resources

Gbenga Oduntan, an international commercial lawyer at the University of Kent, said the bill was “a full-frontal attack on settled principles of space law.” Other believe it’s fair game – because everyone owns it.

No company has yet got the technology to mine anything – whether its water on the Moon or marshmallows on Mars – but they are still pretty chuffed with the decision anyway.

Image: Thunderbirds

It feels like they should be getting the Mole out from Thunderbirds next.

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