Photo by: Planetary Resources
TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Space-mining pioneers have welcomed the historic unanimous passing of the Space Act of 2015, as amended, in the US Senate on Tuesday, recognising the right of US citizens to own asteroid resources they obtain as property and encouraging commercial exploration and recovery of resources from asteroids, free from harmful interference.
The legislation, HR 2262, created a pro-growth environment for the development of the commercial space industry by encouraging private sector investment and ensuring a more stable and predictable regulatory regime. This law was important for the industry and was integral to protecting and supporting US interests as the commercial space sector continued to expand.
“We are proud to have the support of Congress. Throughout history, governments have spurred growth in new frontiers by instituting sensible legislation. Long ago, the Homestead Act of 1862 advocated for the search for gold and timber and, today, HR 2262 fuels a new economy that will open many avenues for the continual growth and prosperity of humanity.
“This off-planet economy will forever change our lives for the better here on Earth,” Planetary Resources president and chief engineer Chris Lewicki said on Wednesday.
VP of global engagement Peter Marquez added that the company was grateful for the leadership shown by Congress in crafting the legislation and looked forward to President Barack Obama signing it into law.
“We applaud the members of Congress who have led this effort and actively sought stakeholder input to ensure a vibrant economy and prosperous way of life now and for centuries to come. Patty Murray, Kevin McCarthy, Bill Posey and Derek Kilmer have been unwavering in their support and leadership for the growth of the US economy into the solar system. Their forward-looking stance and active role in enabling the development of an economically and strategically valuable new marketplace will ensure our country’s continued leadership in space,” Marquez said.
Congressman Posey noted that this bipartisan, bicameral legislation was a landmark for US leadership in space exploration.
“Recognising basic legal protections in space will help pave the way for exciting future commercial space endeavours. Asteroids and other objects in space are excellent potential sources of rare minerals and other resources that can be used to manufacture a range of products here on earth and to support future space exploration missions. Americans willing to invest in space mining operations need legal certainty that they can keep the fruits of their labour and this Bill provides that certainty,” he stated.
“Many years from now, we will view this pivotal moment in time as a major step toward humanity becoming a multiplanetary species. This legislation establishes the same supportive framework that created the great economies of history and it will foster the sustained development of space,” Planetary co-founder and co-chairperson Eric Anderson added.