Mine it, own it: Asteroid property rights closer to becoming law

In case you’ve been worried about your right to own the precious metals from the asteroids you’re planning on mining, help is on the way.

The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that, among other things, “establishes a legal right to resources a U.S. citizen may recover in space consistent with current law and international obligations of the United States.” The Space Act, versions of which were¬†passed earlier by the House and the Senate, got some tweaks and now goes back to the House for final approval, and is expected to be sent to the president in short order.

“Many years from now, we will view this pivotal moment in time as a major step toward humanity becoming a multi-planetary species,” said Eric Anderson, co-Founder and co-chairman of Planetary Resources, in an emailed statement. “This legislation establishes the same supportive framework that created the great economies of history, and it will foster the sustained development of space.”

Redmond, Washington-based Planetary Resources is the asteroid-mining outfit co-founded by Peter Diamandis of X Prize Foundation and Singularity University fame, and backed by Google-now-Alphabet execs Larry Page and Eric Schmidt. (And Ross Perot, and Richard Branson, etc.) Its aim, as presented in 2012, is to extract gold, platinum and other valuable resources from asteroids.

 

Above: Screen shot of asteroid map from Planetary Resources website

 

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