Can You Stake A Claim To An Asteroid?

Planetary Resources. which announced its ambitious plan to search for, and then start mining, a suitable asteroid (see Arkyd Spacecraft To Hunt Asteroid Platinum, Water), may have run into a legal snag.

Can a private company stake a claim to an asteroid, and then mine it?


(Eros - 22 miles long, $trillions of dollars?)

"We as a U.S. company certainly have the right to go an asteroid and make use of its resources," Planetary Resources co-founder Eric Anderson told Discovery News.

"It is a stated goal of the U.S. government to enable and promote commercial activities and economic activity in space," he said.

However, article 2 of the 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty states that "Outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means."

Bigelow Aerospace attorney Michael Gold states:

"The UN treaty in essence forbids private ownership of celestial property. According to the treaty, you could not arrive on the moon or an asteroid and claim it for ownership, at least as a country. Things get a little more confusing when you talk about ownership by a company, but I think most lawyers would tell you that they are one in the same and that whether it's a corporation or a nation you cannot, according to the treaty, claim private celestial property,"

And here I thought that science fiction writers settled this whole issue generations ago. In his excellent 1941 story Jurisdiction, Nat Schachner clearly described the process of staking a claim to an asteroid:

The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite. Two steps were required. First, setting up the proper monuments on the asteroid. Second, filing the requisite affidavits in the Claims Office of Jurisdiction. Four metal stakes were driven deep into the stone... Then a photograving of claim to title was etched deep within the area bounded by the stakes. (Read more about asteroid claim law)

See also this highly relevant article on Moon Mining And Space Lawyers.

Via Discovery.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/28/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Johns Hopkins Says Asteroid Deflection Will Be Difficult
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...' - Gene Roddenberry, 1968.

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.' - Garrett P. Serviss, 1898.

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.

Dockworkers Protest Driverless Trucks
'It resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'

Flying Car Concept By Kash Sirinanda
'Each one consists of a hub with many tiny spokes... On the end is a squat foot, rubber tread on the bottom...'

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'

Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'

China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'

Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '

Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'

Johns Hopkins Says Asteroid Deflection Will Be Difficult
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...'

Fabric Automatically Cools Or Insulates Based On Environment
'...a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system.'

Deepfakes From OpenAI GPT-2 Algorithm
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'

John Deere Self-Driving Tractor
'The huge plow... seemed to shake itself - and began to move back southward.'

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.