Saturday, June 6, 2015

US Lawmakers Pass Bill for Space Mining in the Future

US Lawmakers Pass Bill for Space Mining in the Future: Under the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (SPACE) Act, which the US House of Representatives passed Thursday, firms involved in asteroid mining will be able to keep whatever they dig up.

"Any asteroid resources obtained in outer space are the property of the entity that obtained such resources, which shall be entitled to all property rights thereto, consistent with applicable provisions of Federal law," the SPACE Act reads, in part.

The bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a republican from California, passed with broad bipartisan support, 284-133.

"This bill will encourage the private sector to launch rockets, take risks, and shoot for the heavens," said Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican who chairs the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

And while the section of the bill declaring "finders keepers" for asteroid miners may seem ridiculous or unnecessary, it addresses a dilemma that one day could arise as the commercial space industry gains momentum.