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Space Law Expert: Before First Asteroids Are Mined, Legal Framework Must Be Improved

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posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:25 PM
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Space Law Expert: Before First Asteroids Are Mined, Legal Framework Must Be Improved

Good thing, bad thing... it's terribly disturbing that we cannot know for certain...

As commercial enterprises within the public sector begin to anticipate profits to be gained from mining in space, as entrepreneurs and venture capitalists seek new areas for exploitation; the fact is they will have to create the political will to change laws as they are currently in place regarding "outer space" and human endeavors.

Of course this means convincing everyone that what is in place is inadequate..., and so it begins:


"Neither the pubic interests, ranging from security, safety and the environment to protecting Neil Armstrong's footsteps, nor the interests of the company in securing its investments are properly protected," he said. "Consequently, there is no legal certainty that those activities would not become seriously challenged."


Bold assertions from our source's 'expert.'


He cited the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which forms the basis of international space law and to which all space-faring nations are a party. The treaty says that outer space constitutes a "global commons." This means that extraterrestrial bodies can never be part of one country such as the United States, which therefore means that U.S. laws to protect public or private business interests likely cannot be applied.

The problem, von der Dunk said, is that specific international legal parameters have not been sufficiently established to protect legitimate public or private concerns beyond very general, vague considerations.


The "protections" to which this expert is referring are the very exploitative regulation which have brought us to where we are today... a world where corporate sovereignty is a weapon and a shield.

Just to dispel the quasi-fear-mongering from the expert....

Here's what is in place:


TREATY ON PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE ACTIVITIES OF STATES IN THE EXPLORATION AND USE OF OUTER SPACE, INCLUDING THE MOON AND OTHER CELESTIAL BODIES



This 17 article declaration was ratified by our senate, signed by our nation, (along with the UK, Russia) and is the official "globally" accepted position insofar as the United nations is concerned.

A brief scanning of some of the articles shows....

Article I

The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.

Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies.

There shall be freedom of scientific investigation in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and States shall facilitate and encourage international co-operation in such investigation.


There goes commercial competition, and monopolistic exclusivity.

Article II

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.


There goes corporate sovereignty and 'rights' of ownership.

Article V

.. States Parties to the Treaty shall immediately inform the other States Parties to the Treaty or the Secretary-General of the United Nations of any phenomena they discover in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, which could constitute a danger to the life or health of astronauts.


So much for "secrets"... let alone "trade secrets."

Article VII

Each State Party to the Treaty that launches or procures the launching of an object into outer space, ..., and each State Party from whose territory or facility an object is launched, is internationally liable for damage to another State Party to the Treaty or to its natural or juridical persons by such object or its component parts on the Earth, in air space or in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies.


"Liability?" .... the enemy of all corporate sovereignty.... I'm sure our expert thinks that will have to go...

Article XI

.... agree to inform the Secretary-General of the United Nations as well as the public and the international scientific community, to the greatest extent feasible and practicable, of the nature, conduct, locations and results of such activities. On receiving the said information, the Secretary-General of the United Nations should be prepared to disseminate it immediately and effectively.


Secret launches? No. Secret activities? No. ... Exploitative commerce cannot function in transparency.

_____________________________________________

I will allow you, my reader friends, to explore this subject further - without my *ahem* comments...

Ultimately... I bring this to you to create an awareness that the next "move" by the worshipers of commerce is to lobby, influence, and effect changes in the way our politician's approach this issue.

For our collective sake, I hope we don't allow them to do to the law, whatever self-serving things they can be counted upon doing everywhere else.

I would like to point out that corporate sovereignty is the reason that TEPCO and BP seem relatively "untouched" by the disasters they facilitated with their so-called business acumen. And as far as the big businesses of the world are concerned, I suspect, ... that's the way it ought to be "in space."

edit on 27-4-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:32 PM
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How can any lay claim to ownership of asteroids
Bit like when the white man asked how much money was needed to buy Native American Land
The natives had no concept of ownership but saw themselves as guardians of the land
Well we may as well mess up outer space as well seeing as we have trashed the Earth in our insatiable greed for more of what is not really meant for us.
Ship of fools indeed
edit on 27-4-2012 by artistpoet because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:35 PM
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While I can see a government doing something to control importing of items from space such as taxing it, inspections to make sure it wont harm anyone etc... I really don't think any nation has any right what so ever to tell anyone what they can and can't do beyond earth orbit. Just my opinion. Frankly until they put police up their they could kiss my back side.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:44 PM
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Nice find.

In looking of the outer space treaty, it seems that it applies mainly to "States", or nations, and not necessarily to individuals or groups (or corporations) that are not operating as representatives of any particular state. It seems to apply only as far as a state is funding or otherwise supporting a space-based activity. Individuals or groups (or corporations) that are operating independent of a state would not seem to be bound under this treaty. Of course, it would be difficult to get into space in the first place without some government approval at least. Otherwise, there is the risk of getting shot down while initially attempting to get into space.

Once a private individual or group makes it into space, they no longer need to be under any state jurisdiction since by the treaty, no state can lay claim to any territory in space. But without the approval of some state somehwere for their activities, those individuals or groups will have a very difficult time selling whatever they happen to bring back. Of course, the approving state will want their cut.
Once something is on Earth, it is no longer part of space-based territory, and can be bought and sold as property.

As for secret launches, with all the surveillance equipment (and even amateur telescopes), it is nearly impossible to launch without someone knowing that you're going up. The only thing that might be a secret is what you're sending up and what you might be doing once you're in space.

At least that's how it looks to me so far.
edit on 27-4-2012 by davidchin because: spelling



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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reply to post by davidchin
 


Actually... (emphasis mine)

Article VI

States Parties to the Treaty shall bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, whether such activities are carried on by governmental agencies or by non-governmental entities, and for assuring that national activities are carried out in conformity with the provisions set forth in the present Treaty.


There is room for argumentation here but a corporation is "sanctioned" by the state which granted it's charter... so there is a connection - per se - between a corporation and a state. Of course, I expect that to change soon since, in reality; corporations are treated with sovereignty now anyway ... and there is no doubt that 'cartels' and 'combines' of corporations have and wield more power and wealth than the majority of nations.
edit on 27-4-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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Why not stick to the old tried and true 'Finders Keepers......' and all that? I'm serious. This isn't like an Oil field on Earth. There are hundreds of thousands of these objets floating around out there. Heck, some of the illustrations I've seen from NASA look more like a series of larger and larger clouds of these as one moves outward toward deep space. Surely there are enough of these to go around so Man need not spend years in court fighting over WHICH rock any ship happens to lay claim to and start mining??

Keep it painfully simple... It's claimed and done once active mining is started and maintained. Nice and simple.. It's not like the next guy has to go very far to find another big rock just like the first one out there.
edit on 27-4-2012 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:52 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
Why not stick to the old tried and true 'Finders Keepers......' and all that? I'm serious. This isn't like an Oil field on Earth. There are hundreds of thousands of these objets floating around out there. Heck, some of the illustrations I've seen from NASA look more like a series of larger and larger clouds of these as one moves outward toward deep space. Surely there are enough of these to go around so Man need not spend years in court fighting over WHICH rock any ship happens to lay claim to and start mining??

Keep it painfully simple... It's claimed and done once active mining is started and maintained. Nice and simple.. It's not like the next guy has to go very far to find another big rock just like the first one out there.


I think because that would mean all parties have equality in space... corporations can't have that!

Imagine a private "salvage" operation in space.... no way would they ever allow that. And I don't think they mean to.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:57 PM
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Forgive them Cosmos for they know not what they do
So some greedy individual or individuals want what is not theirs and can do just as they wish if they have man made laws to permit them to do so and governments take their cut on behalf of the people they represent.
Who are these usurpers - These masters of the Universe who are so blind they do not understand nor wish to understand what it is they are doing - So now we have the Earth turned into a giant Walmart store next stop the Cosmos - Does any one get it sigh and sigh again



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 

Oh all the reasons or rationale' I could have imagined in reply, I think you came up with the most honest and accurate of them all. lol...It's so simple when put that way, it is funny. I suppose I have to agree. The idea of wildcat salvage operations like treasure hunters on Earth would terrify TPTB.

It just occurred to me..but out there in the vastness, I suppose it's actually possible that some private operation could stumble upon a rock made of (insert mystery material here) and literally become more wealthy than that 1% overnight. You're right..that would never, ever be allowed to happen.

I like my version better...I'll go imagine the way it ought to be while they fight over the sad way it'll end up being.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:08 PM
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reply to post by Xeven
 



I really don't think any nation has any right what so ever to tell anyone what they can and can't do beyond earth orbit.

I so wish I was born into an age where we had the ability to build interstellar space craft. Who knows it may actually happen in my life time. I imagine that when we get the ability to travel into space so easily we'll have no choice but to declare space a bit like international waters, there will be no form of jurisdiction outside of our own solar system imo. I would so become a "freeman of space", like the guys from Cowboy Bebop or Outlaw Star. Just roaming around space having random adventures and avoiding space authorities.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:16 PM
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My word this is the funniest thing ever. They want to mine objects hurling through space, with unproven elements, and make a buck. Curious, with the MOON, the MOON, just a hop skip and a jump from earth, with proven value, one wonders why digging on the moon isn't in the plan? Why not go to a fixed object, far closer to earth then an asteroid, far easier to hit as it is more or less stationary and it has to be cost effective?

Conclusion: Publicity stunt or, no one can go back to the moon at all let alone mine.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by crankyoldman
 

Damn good point Sir
Next news Bulletin " Will Marines be sent to guard Martian mines in case of reprisals from Martians"



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:24 PM
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reply to post by crankyoldman
 



Conclusion: Publicity stunt or, no one can go back to the moon at all let alone mine.

Well I've always thought that mining the Moon was a bad idea. Think about it, it would decrease the mass of the Moon and increase the mass of Earth.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:32 PM
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how does someone actually lay claim to anything?

really, if we can just start claiming stuff like that then I formally claim one of Jupiter's moons "Callisto".
you read it here first.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:32 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


Whats to stop a group of individuals from forming their own government once they plant their feet on an asteroid? They could then completely ignore all earth bound laws as Earth itself have no right to decide what anyone does beyond it's orbit. I would simply toss rocks at the earth if they get outa hand



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by Xeven
reply to post by Maxmars
 


Whats to stop a group of individuals from forming their own government once they plant their feet on an asteroid? They could then completely ignore all earth bound laws as Earth itself have no right to decide what anyone does beyond it's orbit. I would simply toss rocks at the earth if they get outa hand


What about sending governments to asteroids and let us get on with things here on Earth



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:37 PM
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reply to post by Xeven
 


That certainly could be an idea... but who would "recognize" such a new nation state? Th U.N.?

I know that there is a bunch of superfluous tripe that passes for the "deliberations" that nations go through to officially recognize "a new nation" and much of it is corporate/political expedience; but I bet the first thing that would happen to a new state like that is that they would come under attack, be deprived of support, or ... the media would make them out to be "a threat."



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:40 PM
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I can't imagine a space lawyer has a very successful practice. I mean it's not like there are any clients who need your services. Not many private people or companies in space. At least not on planets. I would bet he off sets his lack of income by working at Mc Donalds. And where is space law school anyhow??



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 05:06 PM
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Thank you, excellent topic for a thread. You will note that the treaty does allow for the "use" of extraterrestrial bodies, but does not allow for them to be "appropriated." In other words, the precedent is the "Law of the Sea." Commercial fisheries may ply international waters, but cannot claim them for their exclusive use. Similarly, all vessels have a country of registry. As applied to the Outer Space Treaty, the nations which launched the spacecraft are liable for damages. This applies chiefly to discarded boosters landing on passing ships, or dead satellites crashing into buildings. Some refinement may be required here; American launch services will launch satellites for, say Brazil, from sea faring platforms using Russian or European boosters. The treaty should make it clear that all such private launches have contracts that specify which party is to be held responsible for damage caused by each specific system. There is clearly a need for a more detailed articulation of the philosophy behind the future legal framework as well.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by GuidedKill
 



I can't imagine a space lawyer has a very successful practice. I mean it's not like there are any clients who need your services. Not many private people or companies in space. At least not on planets. I would bet he off sets his lack of income by working at Mc Donalds. And where is space law school anyhow??


You would be surprised. Chiefly their income is from academic work, but satellites do crash and liability issues need to be worked out.

www.space.com...

There's also an International Institute of Air and Space Law in Europe.

law.leiden.edu...





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