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