Weird Laws

Asteroid mining firms have succeeded in getting a new federal law passed to create property rights for asteroid mining in space. The proposed measure, H.R. 2262, which is being referred to as the Space Act of 2015, was passed by the House and Senate last Tuesday. It is currently awaiting approval from the president.

According to the law, any company that mines resources from an asteroid in space will become the direct owners of those resources. Once approved by the president, the law will be an extension of other laws that already apply to activities in outer space.

Planetary Resources President Chris Lewicki said, "Using this as the foundation, we can describe how our country is going to support this industry ... That can be a model for similar laws throughout the world."

Is This New Law Even Relevant?

Nevertheless, the new law stirs up some questions about property rights as they would apply to other countries. Also, a lot of people are skeptical about whether asteroid mining is even possible. Certainly, no firm is in outer space collecting resources from asteroids right now.

According to Planetary Resources, though, asteroids will one day be mined to provide important resources to support space missions and space communities -- resources like water, for example.

Redmond's Planetary Resources is one American company planning to mine asteroids for indispensable resources like water, which can then be used for space communities of the future. "If humans are going to be around another 1,000 years or 1 million years, we've got to move beyond planet Earth and become masters of our environment," Lewicki said. The president of the asteroid mining company says that he expects they will be ready to start mining asteroids within the next five years, and they already have a special prototype satellite, the Akryd 3, in space.

Do You Think Asteroid Mining Is a Good Bet?

Planetary Resources has secured funding from several big investors like Larry Page and Eric Schmidt from Google and Richard Branson from Virgin. What do you think? Do you agree that asteroid mining investments are the way to go?