US Congress has passed historic legislation that recognises the right for citizens to own asteroid resources they obtain as property and encourages the commercial exploration of resources from asteroids.
By encouraging private sector investment in developing the commercial space industry, the legislation is integral to protecting and supporting US interests as the commercial space sector continues to expand.
According to asteroid mining company Planetary Resources Inc., the legislation fuels a new economy that will open many avenues for the continual growth and prosperity of humanity.
“Planetary Resources is grateful for the leadership shown in Congress in crafting this legislation and looks forward to President Obama signing the language into law. We applaud the members of Congress who have led this effort and actively sought stakeholder input to a vibrant economy and prosperous way of life now and for centuries to come,” said Vice President of Global Engagement at Planetary Resources, Peter Marquez.
Recognizing basic legal protections in space can help pave the way for future commercial space endeavours. Asteroids and other objects are excellent potential sources of rare minerals and other resources that can be used to both manufacture a wide range of products on Earth and to support future space exploration missions.
Planetary Resources has a vision to establish a new paradigm for resource utilization that can bring the Solar System within humanity’s economic sphere of influence.
The company will conduct low-cost robotic space exploration beginning with the Arkyd series of space missions that will identify the most commercially viable near-Earth asteroids.
These initial missions will assist the company in enabling the retrieval of raw materials from these select asteroids, including water, precious metals and more.