Friday, January 25, 2013

Space Property Rights

We now have two companies, Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, planning to begin mining asteroids for private profit shortly.  Neither company, however, owns the mining rights to those flying mountains.  No one does.

Similarly, there are companies, like Inteerorbital Systems, looking at colonizing the Moon for private profits, using lunar resources to do it, but they don't own the rights to those resources.  No one does.  Nor is it clear that profits made in space could legally be "brought back" to Earth.

Capital likely will never flow strongly into an area where the law is so murky-- there are simply too many other places to deploy capital that are perfectly safe from a legal standpoint.  To really begin to develop space economically, commercial space law must be developed.

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