US President Barack Obama has signed the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act into law which will allow individuals in the US to establish ownership of asteroid resources and begin mining in space.
In other words, it is now legal to commercially explore and recover asteroids for the purpose of mining or otherwise.
The new law is great news for asteroid mining companies such as Planetary Resources.
“This is the single greatest recognition of property rights in history. This legislation establishes the same supportive framework that created the great economies of history, and will encourage the sustained development of space,” said Eric Anderson, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc.
“A hundred years from now, humanity will look at this period in time as the point in which we were able to establish a permanent foothold in space. In history, there has never been a more rapid rate progress than right now,” said Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc.
The law was originally introduced months ago and is the result of major inputs from industry, both political parties, both houses of Congress and the Department of State.
“Our nation’s continued leadership and prosperity in space is enabled by this new law. Planetary Resources is grateful for the leadership shown by Congress in crafting this legislation and for President Obama signing H.R. 2262 into law,” said Peter Marquez, Vice President of Global Engagement, Planetary Resources, Inc.
International space resources company Deep Space Industries has also welcomed the announcement about the signing of the “historic legislation”.
“In the future humanity will look back at this bill being passed as one of the hallmarks of the opening of space to the people,” said Rick Tumlinson, Chair of Deep Space Industries.
“Even while surrounded by so much bad news, in the long view of history, it is this sort of positive action that changes civilisation, and while much else will not be remembered, the time when we began to unlock the wealth of the solar system for the people of Earth will be seen as a turning point. This bill is an important key to that happening.”