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The Great Meteor Grab

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the you-may-not-own-rocks-in-space dept.

Government 152

RocketAcademy writes "New regulations by the Federal government define asteroidal material to be an antiquity, like arrowheads and pottery, rather than a mineral — and, therefore, not subject to U.S. mining law or eligible for mining claims. At the moment, these regulations only apply to asteroidal materials that have fallen to Earth as meteorites. However, they create a precedent that could adversely affect the plans of companies such as Planetary Resources, who intend to mine asteroids in space."

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152 comments

Putting the cart before the horse. (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41635927)

Talk about worrying about the wrong problems. Why worry about how this is regulated before anyone can even come close to doing it?

First come up with a way to mine an asteroid, then you can worry about the legal semantics.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (5, Funny)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#41636089)

I guess the other side of that is, "Why come up with a way to mine an asteroid if the legal semantics won't allow you to mine it anyway?"

I agree that it's probably not a huge issue that can't be ironed* out, though.

* Yeah, I did that. Deal with it.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (5, Informative)

Xylaan (795464) | about 2 years ago | (#41636309)

From the article, however, the regulations that are being discussed are for meteorites on federal lands. From the article:

Courts have long established that meteorites belong to the owner of the surface estate. Therefore, meteorites found on public lands are part of the BLM’s surface estate, belong to the federal government, and must be managed as natural resources in accordance with the FLPMA of 1976."

In this case, I'm thinking that claiming that these changes will somehow apply to asteroids in space is a very long stretch. Especially since they don't apply to the significant volume of privately owned land in this country, let alone the rest of the world.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 2 years ago | (#41636709)

No, but when the US starts planting flags on more heavenly bodies, they may be able to define them as "Federal Land", subject to BLM regulation.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

AshtangiMan (684031) | about 2 years ago | (#41636951)

More likely it will be private enterprise, and will flag it as corporate property. Which is fine. No regulations needed.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41637865)

Yes, because corporate bodies never need to be regulated. They all behave like angels.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (3, Informative)

slew (2918) | about 2 years ago | (#41637233)

No, but when the US starts planting flags on more heavenly bodies, they may be able to define them as "Federal Land", subject to BLM regulation.

Not likely, the US is a signator to the Outer Space Treaty [wikipedia.org] ...

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.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (4, Insightful)

Sean (422) | about 2 years ago | (#41637345)

That will be ignored as soon as the capability to occupy celestial bodies exists.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

skegg (666571) | about 2 years ago | (#41637589)

Not likely, the US is a signator to the Outer Space Treaty

Suddenly, a mighty roar of laughter erupted from hundreds of boardrooms across hundreds of cities.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (2)

fox171171 (1425329) | about 2 years ago | (#41638333)

Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation

Yeah, until it's practical to start doing it...

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

Spottywot (1910658) | about 2 years ago | (#41638297)

Yes, it does seem to be the case. In any case, anyone with the ability to mine asteroids at this point in time is very unlikely to be concerned with Federal law anyway

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41636389)

Because this ruling has to do with meteorites on US government land not asteroids?

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (2)

Beerdood (1451859) | about 2 years ago | (#41636439)

I highly doubt that the U.S. or any entity can claim jurisdiction on the asteroid belt and any materials, or mining techniques there. Even if they did, this doesn't seem like something that can be enforced. Maybe with tariffs on goods coming from the asteroids? Even if there was, I'm sure there's plenty of other people willing to buy the goods if they don't like the U.S. rules

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 2 years ago | (#41636467)

Because the laws of nations are transient and the laws of physics aren't?

But on the subject of laws I'm not sure what any relevant treaties might say. Seems likely that if somehow this ruling applied to space*, you could find another jurisdiction outside the U.S. to host your asteroid-mining company.

* Legally or not, it makes sense to me that there's a big difference. Meteorites are rare and precious things of immense value to science. If/when we can feasible reach the asteroids readily enough to mine them... there are kind a fucking lot of them. Likewise, if we were up to our fucking necks in "antiquities", there'd probably be a lot less concern about preserving them.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41636909)

Likewise, if we were up to our fucking necks in "antiquities", there'd probably be a lot less concern about preserving them.

Watch what you say there, Mr. 4 digit UID. You're not getting any younger. You may want to be preserved a bit longer even if there are a lot of us baby boomers flopping around.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636603)

What flag does your spaceship have to fly under anyways?

May as well offshore the technical development to someplace friendlier like Brazil or India (engineer it over there so ITAR doesn't apply, as the tech isn't being exported from U.S. Maybe many of the workers are, but pay them well so quality remains the same.), and see if you can either get a floating launch pad in international waters, or establish a launch facility somewhere in South America or Africa.

Laws that aren't well thought out enough like this will only see that countries other than the U.S. get into space mining first, provided that it's actually profitable enough to begin with. Space seems to fall under international rules, and if you don't like the U.S. laws then it's just a matter of changing your jurisdiction along with launch and landing sites so they don't apply.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636385)

Nations disputing property rights, resources, etc. have in the past led to wars (and still do). It'd be nice if there was at least some international effort expended to avoiding the inevitable conflicts over who gets to exploit the resources of the solar system before it reaches a crisis.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | about 2 years ago | (#41636481)

Regulating it in advance would provide a stable legal background for off-world resource exploitation. Currently, besides technological problems, the biggest hurdle the space mining industry is facing is the unclear/poorly defined legal standing of outer space, and even more importantly, the resources extracted, namely whether they inherit the "common domain of mankind" status of outer space, which would make it impossible to turn a profit, since all nations could potentially demand an equal share.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41636893)

Why worry about US mining laws when no country has claim on the rocks in space?

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

RocketAcademy (2708739) | about 2 years ago | (#41637141)

Why worry about US mining laws when no country has claim on the rocks in space?

Because if you don't have legal title to your property, you can't defend it in court when someone else tries to take it away.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41637393)

Which country has jurisdiction over space? There is no court to here your plight. There will probably not be one for a long time.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#41637599)

No... but if somebody tries to take it away from you, you can try and go and try to take it away from them right back. It doesn't belong to anybody, that's the point.

As long as you can resolve the dispute without resorting to any form of violence against the other party (which would be a violation of human rights, which are assumed to not be subject to national borders), there's no problem.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41636967)

yeah really, and not only that, but they're putting up roadblocks to doing what we absolutely must do at some point if we want to retain our lifestyle. fucking hippies..

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41637559)

Fuck your lifestyle

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41638149)

..posted using a luxury made of petrochemicals and the fruits of child labor.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636981)

While I agree that today this law would not be very significant, that does not mean it should not be considered.

There are a lot of situations where changing the law affects stakeholders in various issues, making those changes very difficult even if everyone knows they are needed. Improving this law before there are any stakeholders like self proclaimed asteroid owners could prevent these kinds of problems.

A different, perhaps more complex example is social security and retirement. In the Netherlands there was recently news about changes in the interest rate used by pension funds. They are now allowed to assume a higher interest rate in the near future which means people currently on retirement will receive more or less the same income and be less impacted by the economic downturn. Unfortunately, everyone knows that this rate is not realistic, which means more money will leave the system than enters it, emptying the barrel over the long term. This means that young people working and paying for current retired people right now will have very little pension once they retire simply because the money is mostly gone by then. Young people are rightly upset about this. Old people also feel they are in the right, after all, they were the ones who paid into it all their lives while Their parents went to retire.

Because there are so many stakeholders, any significant change would impact a lot of people. This makes the laws and pension system rigid as concrete. Even the smallest adjustment encounters enormous inertia, and fundamental changes like changing from paygo to savings based pensions are frankly impossible.

Perhaps I went a little bit offtopic, though I trust I made my point clearly.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (1)

RocketAcademy (2708739) | about 2 years ago | (#41637163)

First come up with a way to mine an asteroid, then you can worry about the legal semantics.

It's notoriously difficult to get investors to put billions of dollars into developing something unless you can show you have the legal right to do it.

Look at the history of the Law of the Sea or mining in Antarctica.

Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41638363)

Solution is quite simple. Register the company in another country, as if you were trying to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Then simply ignore U.S. law.

Don't worry about it (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | about 2 years ago | (#41635949)

The well-funded asteroid-miners will be able to buy the politicians and get the rules changed before they launch and call it a cost of doing business.

The not as well funded ones... well, it wouldn't be the first time lack of excess capital to pay lawyers or lobbyists stopped a project before it started.

Besides, if only the US has this law, then companies will just launch under other nations' flags and sell the minerals to countries that don't have a problem with mining asteroids.

Re:Don't worry about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636223)

I think that it is safe to say that any asteroid still in space is outside US jurisdiction.
Why does the US think that they can set laws for the whole universe.

Re:Don't worry about it (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41636321)

This is about meteorites that have fallen to Earth. It has no bearing on space mining despite Soulskill's implication.

Re:Don't worry about it (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#41636311)

Poorly-funded space asteroid miners? Like a miner 49'er with a rented mule and a pickaxe, right? But in space?

As usual there is nothing here beyond an angst-ridden blog post about how some law might someday be (mis) applied. (Next up: Will Shariah Law take over the UN!??? Oops, we already did that one today.)

I am more interested in how this applied in the case of large meteors that leave large deposits of valuable minerals in the earth's crust [cosmosmagazine.com] . These are not little objects you can walk away with, but rather, large areas rich in minerals due to (usually) prehistoric impacts that are already productively mined [wikipedia.org] . It seems less of a stretch that somebody would abuse this meteor law to exploit public lands by showing the minerals there were "originally" from an asteroid, since the minerals can be extracted at a profit (sans sci-fi).

Re:Don't worry about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41637511)

This. Planetary Resources already probably have enough money to BUY the entire US government if they wanted. There is no problem here.
Not only that, this company can easily move its workplace anywhere in the world, even OFF world literally at some point.
You can't exactly hide a SPACE attack from anyone either, a missile could be traced back exactly to its source so any county with an active scanning system in place will see who attacked.

Silly little things like this have basically no meaning. The ruling might as well never have existed. Who am I even replying to? Am I even awake? Why am I not having weird awesome dreams with flying laser sharks and becoming supreme overlord of Earth?

Starmetal (1)

sanman2 (928866) | about 2 years ago | (#41635955)

Quickly! Grab it all, so that we may form swords and shields out of it!

Re:Starmetal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636687)

Finding enough space iron to make a decent katana is the easy part. Getting enough super-consecrated virgin unicorn blood to imbue a blade with mystic properties has been tricky ever since unicorns went on the endangered species list.

Re:Starmetal (1)

Artifakt (700173) | about 2 years ago | (#41637171)

True, but who above 12 years old was really surprised when Virgin unicorns all ended up on the endangered species list?
Wait, I'm asking that on Slashdot, where it was probably totally unexpected and a lot of you still don't get it.

Only one possible and obvious solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635959)

Get rid of the government.

Talk about crying wolf (5, Insightful)

Nebulo (29412) | about 2 years ago | (#41636017)

The article makes a huge logical leap: that US laws governing items on federal lands somehow apply to items that are not on federal lands (for example, the asteroid belt). This is akin to saying that US antiquity laws would prevent a US citizen from prospecting for fossils in, say, Canada. What a load of baloney. The author is trying to conflate and confuse two issues (mining in space and prospecting on US federal lands) which are utterly unrelated.

Nebulo

Re:Talk about crying wolf (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about 2 years ago | (#41636693)

In the future, watch Asian, European, and so on, mining companies mine tons of minerals from outer space, and everyone in the world use it to build stuff, except he U.S. who isn't allowed to due to their law!

Re:Talk about crying wolf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636723)

God dammit,

The article is about meteorites not asteroids.
Thhe change is to better handle who owns it when it falls from the sky.

This has nothing to do with space cowboys wrangling asteriods.

laws in space ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636023)

Earth laws don't apply in space and neither does eminent domain.
So earth laws can f'off, I want my Orion spacecraft traveling to Alpha Centauri.

Re:laws in space ? (1)

aicrules (819392) | about 2 years ago | (#41636235)

maybe they could regular the "import" part of it...but you're right. F U if you think you can lay jurisdictional claim to the entire universe.

Re:laws in space ? (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41636423)

No one is making any such claim of jurisdiction. You fell for a trollbait story submission. This was about meteorites on Earth not mining asteroids.

Re:laws in space ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636459)

Sadly the fact remains Orion can't be built because Nuclear testing in LEO is against stupid laws.
IT'S SPACE DAMNIT, keep your retarded backward laws on earth.

Until they can figure out what to do about EMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636571)

STFU

Re:laws in space ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636791)

Space Nutter detected.

Re:laws in space ? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 2 years ago | (#41638539)

If you're already in LEO, you don't need Orion. You can just use your nuclear material to generate power for electric propulsion with even higher Isp. Where you need Orion is where you can't ever use it - to climb out of the earth's gravity well in the first place - it's a relatively high Isp, extremely high thrust solution, but you can't use it on a populated planet with an atmosphere, because you're setting off thousands of nuclear bombs in an atmosphere.

Re:laws in space ? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#41637491)

You dont understand, they dont lay claim to the universe, they lay claim to YOU

It's your to keep..I think (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about 2 years ago | (#41636049)

Nobody can claim something from you that you didn't take from anyone or any state. Right?
This rule might not apply for radioactive substances that could be harmful to the environment.

Damn it all! (2)

badford (874035) | about 2 years ago | (#41636053)

I just built an autonomous spaceship and 3 asteroid mining robots. Wish they would give us a heads up every once in a while.

What again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636085)

1. Mine asteroids
2. eBay
3. Profit

What "laws" again? Do things, sell results, profit.

Words have meanings (5, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | about 2 years ago | (#41636095)

I doubt it's a problem. An Asteroid is not a Meteorite.

"A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the Earth's surface" - Wikipedia - Meteorite [wikipedia.org]

So unless someone plans on mining an asteroid by slamming it into the planet, they probably don't have to deal with laws pertaining to meteorites. There is also the fact that US law does not extend to the Asteroid Belt.

Re:Words have meanings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636537)

US law follows all the objects launched into space. We own it all!

Re:Words have meanings (1)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about 2 years ago | (#41636565)

I doubt it's a problem. An Asteroid is not a Meteorite. "A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the Earth's surface" - Wikipedia - Meteorite So unless someone plans on mining an asteroid by slamming it into the planet, they probably don't have to deal with laws pertaining to meteorites. There is also the fact that US law does not extend to the Asteroid Belt.

Unless you plan to use the mined material on the Moon, you are eventually going to take it down on Earth, and maybe inside the US. Then the federal laws would apply and your rocks/metals would fit the definition of "surviving impact with the Earth's surface", wouldn't they?

Re:Words have meanings (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41636787)

No, it wouldn't apply. You're being absurd.

Re:Words have meanings (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 2 years ago | (#41638397)

I doubt it's a problem. An Asteroid is not a Meteorite.

"A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the Earth's surface" - Wikipedia - Meteorite

So unless someone plans on mining an asteroid by slamming it into the planet, they probably don't have to deal with laws pertaining to meteorites. There is also the fact that US law does not extend to the Asteroid Belt.

Unless you plan to use the mined material on the Moon, you are eventually going to take it down on Earth, and maybe inside the US. Then the federal laws would apply and your rocks/metals would fit the definition of "surviving impact with the Earth's surface", wouldn't they?

If people do start asteroid mining the amount of materials available on Earth could increase tremendously providing a massive boost to the economies which permit the import and use of these materials.

If the USA declines to participate then they will be putting themselves into the new third world group of nations as virtually every other nation on earth grows and prospers beyond the dreams of avarice.

Re:Words have meanings (2)

cheesecake23 (1110663) | about 2 years ago | (#41636721)

There is also the fact that US law does not extend to the Asteroid Belt.

For now, yes. But who knows where Assange will seek asylum next?

Re:Words have meanings (1)

al.caughey (1426989) | about 2 years ago | (#41636961)

Unless the materials mined in space magically disappear, will they not have survived their impact with the Earth's surface when their spaceship lands?

And once you try to bring them into the US, US laws apply... think CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) i.e., you might be able to legally catch a three pecker wood toad in BoraBora but if its protected under CITES, you face legal consequences if you're caught bringing it into the US. And, I think they'd notice an arriving spaceship...

--
I don't have a sig

Re:Words have meanings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41637065)

Actually, if the intent is to mine it for use on Earth, then slamming it into the planet at a carefully arranged trajectory to impact at a previously chosen landing/mining site might just be the most efficient way to mine asteroids, ehm, meteorites.

Re:Words have meanings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41637199)

So unless someone plans on mining an asteroid by slamming it into the planet, they probably don't have to deal with laws pertaining to meteorites.

And if they do, they'd do well to be more concerned with the military implications of slinging WMDs around than petty claims as to who owns it.

Re:Words have meanings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41637473)

Actually, US law shouldn't extend beyond the USA borders :D

Total crap -- /. summary is wrong (stunning!) (5, Insightful)

GodInHell (258915) | about 2 years ago | (#41636137)

The attached articles are talking about regulations for metorites found on the surface of federal land. Last time I checked (1) asteroids aren't metorites until they fall out of the sky[1]; (2) asteroids in space aren't found on the surface of federal lands; and (3) the U.S. Gov't has no jurisdiction out where thar be asteroids.

Total fail.

1. "A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the Earth's surface." Wiki source [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Total crap -- /. summary is wrong (stunning!) (5, Insightful)

GodInHell (258915) | about 2 years ago | (#41636191)

Specifically: the "precedent" here is actually very old that valuable minerals found on the unburdened (i.e. not covered in dirt) parts of land belong to the owner of that property. These regulations are just clarifying that /yes/ meteorites are valuable minerals - when found on the surface of federal lands they belong to the federal government and you can't just take them because you want to. Also, you cannot just go into public lands and take a fencepost because you think it'd make a nice addition to your yard.

Re:Total crap -- /. summary is wrong (stunning!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636799)

You're wrong. Before this new regulation, if you were to find a meteorite under 3 feet of ground (a common way of finding meteorites) then you could stake a claim to it.
You can no longer do that.

Re:Total crap -- /. summary is wrong (stunning!) (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about 2 years ago | (#41636943)

"Also, you cannot just go into public lands and take a fencepost because you think it'd make a nice addition to your yard."

Wait, what?!? Damnit! What kind of legal precedent does that set in regards to my plan to go harvest space fenceposts?

Re:Total crap -- /. summary is wrong (stunning!) (1)

RocketAcademy (2708739) | about 2 years ago | (#41638037)

These regulations are just clarifying that /yes/ meteorites are valuable minerals

On the contrary, the regulations specifically state that meteorites are not minerals but "antiquities." That's the whole point.

Re:Total crap -- /. summary is wrong (stunning!) (2)

jfengel (409917) | about 2 years ago | (#41638181)

Over large swaths of land, the US government has leased the right to dig up whatever minerals they find there. It doesn't apply to fenceposts, but it does apply to rocks.

The ruling here is that the meteorites aren't included in that. Yes, they're minerals, but for this purpose they're also part of the national heritage. So we're going to treat them in the same category as other heritage items, i.e. ancient artifacts. These aren't artifacts, but they're saying they're going to treat them according to the rules that govern artifacts, and for the same reason: that wasn't the intention of leasing the mineral rights.

Follow the Money (1)

djl4570 (801529) | about 2 years ago | (#41636153)

Meteorites are worth a nice piece of change. This is nothing but a way to collect revenue from commercial collectors. Probably defined as anyone who auctions one on ebay.

So what? (1)

Ecuador (740021) | about 2 years ago | (#41636173)

Who was planing to mine an asteroid... in US jurisdiction? Asteroids are sort of outside the US border I would say...
And let's not talk about the fact that we don't even have the ability to send a man to the moon like we did decades ago (or even supersonic commercial flights like we also did decades ago), and TFS is worried about what all those miners we are going to send to the asteroids are going to do???
And I thought we couldn't go lower than another bitcoin post...

Re:So what? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#41637693)

...And let's not talk about the fact that we don't even have the incentive to send a man to the moon like we did decades ago

ftfy.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41637797)

No, we can't. NASA can't even send a man in space right now, the others are developing the technology that a moon mission would require.
It is not a problem of incentive, it is a problem of money not being spend in science, space exploration etc.

Huh? Adversely affect space mining? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636201)

"New regulations by the Federal government define asteroidal material to be an antiquity, like arrowheads and pottery, rather than a mineral — and, therefore, not subject to U.S. mining law or eligible for mining claims. At the moment, these regulations only apply to asteroidal materials that have fallen to Earth as meteorites. However, they create a precedent that could adversely affect the plans of companies such as Planetary Resources, who intend to mine asteroids in space."

i fail to see how NOT being subject to mining laws would adversely affect space mining.

Re:Huh? Adversely affect space mining? (1)

RocketAcademy (2708739) | about 2 years ago | (#41637475)

i fail to see how NOT being subject to mining laws would adversely affect space mining.

Because mining law is what protects your claim. That's why it was created in the first place.

Imagine if your house was suddenly declared "not real estate" and anyone could move in, tear it down, make alterations, shelter livestock, etc.

Advise for Planetary Resources et al (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636213)

1. Move headquarters north to Canada
2. Contract Russian companies to launch your spacecraft
3, Sell minerals on open market
4. Profit

(Possession is 9/10th's of the law) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636259)

Cart before the horse. I'm sure f you landed something on a meteorite and proceeded to mine the thing you could establish you could use Adverse possession to lay claim to it. All this does is prevent companies from laying claim to an asteroid before they are even able to reach it which could possible stifle companies that are actually able to get to it.

Meteorites != asteroids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636279)

You can turn an asteroid into a meteorite by letting it fall to the Earth's surface. An asteroid, however, is not a meteorite until it does so. The words have two very different meanings. Any law that applies to meteorites fallen to Earth does not apply to asteroids in space. On top of that, US law does not apply to space anyway.

It's irrelevant nonsense.

Please put down the bong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636437)

Are you seriously freaking about about something that has only one company in its entire industry and is more of a theory than an actual practice? wow...

Relocate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41636441)

Why remain under US jurisdiction? Just pack up and move. Bring your space-mined stuff down in another jurisdiction.

Re:Relocate. (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41636519)

How is taking meteorites off of US government lands considered "space mining". Since, you know, that's what this ruling was actually about.

Scaremongering for a non-space agenda (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 2 years ago | (#41636461)

This is nothing but some paranoid right-wing fucktard upset that the government is acting in the public interesting regarding land that the public owns. Nothing to see here.

Re:Scaremongering for a non-space agenda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41637143)

This is nothing but some paranoid right-wing fucktard upset that the government is acting in the public interesting regarding land that the public owns. Nothing to see here.

I was going to mod you up, but you had to ruin it with your fucktard line. Fucker

What? Asteroid mining now? (1)

Beerdood (1451859) | about 2 years ago | (#41636581)

Damn, I better stake my claim before it's too late. Move over Dennis Hope [wikipedia.org] , there's a new real estate mogul on the market. Asteroids for sale here, only $500 each!

Re:What? Asteroid mining now? (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | about 2 years ago | (#41636767)

Lol, you have no idea how much they are worth. I bought a tiny 1in piece by half an inch, shaved from a large specimen, nearly $100. An actual verifiable asteroid meteorite. Like the one found of Vesta, would be alot more.

Re:What? Asteroid mining now? (1)

Beerdood (1451859) | about 2 years ago | (#41637061)

Well... I was attempting to make more of a (failed) humorous point about the ridiculousness of the premise that "Mining asteroids could present legal trouble in the United States!". If there's any chance that corporations won't mine asteroids (or at least run into legal trouble) because they're - then it's probably an equally likely (and ridiculous) that anyone attempting to land on the moon and establish a moon base would have to buy the property from Dennis Hope, or one of the millions of people he's sold "moon land" too. I'm sure the actual value of meteorite or an actual asteroid segment is pretty high per kg

US jurisdiction in space (2)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 2 years ago | (#41636593)

"If asteroidal materials that have fallen to Earth are not minerals, it stands to reason that asteroidal materials in space are not minerals, either."

Only as far as it stands to reason that the US can claim jurisdiction in space.

Creates problems because...? (1)

DSS11Q13 (1853164) | about 2 years ago | (#41636621)

The United States has sovereignty over asteroids now?

WTF (1)

mbone (558574) | about 2 years ago | (#41636733)

Why is a federal reg which allows for meteorite collection on public land bad for asteroid mining? This favors, in a small way, the exploitation of extraterrestrial resources, and so I would view it as a positive (if very weak) precedent.

Note, BTW, that asteroid are not public land under the Outer Space Treaty.

Re:WTF (2)

slew (2918) | about 2 years ago | (#41637389)

This is totally off topic, but under the Outer Space Treaty, mining is not a prohibited activity, but if you read closer, you don't get to escape all jurisdiction by simply going into space. You are still under the jurisdiction of the place where you launched from.

Article VIII

A State Party to the Treaty on whose registry an object launched into outer space is carried shall retain jurisdiction and control over such object, and over any personnel thereof, while in outer space or on a celestial body.

Re:WTF (1)

mbone (558574) | about 2 years ago | (#41637819)

Yes, I know that, but the US (or anyone else) does not get to claim extraterrestrial bodies, so they are not (US) public land.

Now, I would not be surprised if some future law or Executive Order came about where we would treat asteroids as if they were public lands, but it isn't in place yet. And, I would look for a new treaty move along that time, to clear these matters up.

Also, note that Article 8 talks about "on a celestial body," but is silent about what happens _inside_ a celestial body. If you want to make an asteroidal version of Sealand, better put it underground.

Like usual, the Gov has logic problems (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | about 2 years ago | (#41636995)

Everything here on earth fell from up there at one time or another. If 'everything' here on earth is now off limits then there could be no mining of anything, anywhere. Problem solved, or created, all depending on your position in the debate.

Hasn't this been settled? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41637275)

You own what you produce or mine, not the natural resource. That will help reduce speculation that's so rampant in today's real estate market.

I've said it before and I'll say it again (2)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#41637407)

The best way to make a successful business these days is to get stuck in and BE SUCCESSFUL long before the legislation catches up with you.

The recent Banking-and-Finance Charlie Foxtrot proves that if you make ENOUGH money The Government will drop their pants to support you no matter what you do (ie no matter how immoral and unethical your actions may have been).

If you WAIT for the legislation first, said laws will have been funded by lobbyists of EXISTING INTERESTS supporting their own outdated business models.

Mining a meteor strike (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41637519)

Where this law /might/ apply is if someone were to recover metals and minerals from a meteor strike on federal land. In Canada, there are the remnants of a very old meteor strike (of the nickel/iron kind) at Sudbury Ontario (and other places) which has fueled long-lasting nickel mining and iron-ore mining industries.

ISTM that, should a nickel-iron meteor strike US federal lands, nickel, iron, and gold extraction from such a strike would NOT be considered "mining", and would not be regulated as such.

Just my two cents

Not to rain on the FUD parade but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41637575)

US law applies on US soil. Space is not US soil. It's laws don't apply.

you are kidding? (1)

pbjones (315127) | about 2 years ago | (#41637813)

a US law applying to material in Space. OFFS!

Is it a good idea to remove them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41637839)

I'm in no way a scientist. My concern is that, maybe, those asteroids form a protective shield, although permeable, might protect earth from energy that could be lethal. Am I just being paranoid?

In related news... (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about 2 years ago | (#41638099)

Speed limits on public roads are going to set a precedent when we develop teleportation, and may set this technology back decades.

And don't forget about the import tariffs when I start making gold using nucleosynthesis from hydrogen in air that make have drifted over from China!

No way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41638209)

Its out of any one countries jurisdiction. That's why some can have "illegal" activities occur legally, off of any countries coast. Space is really out of any ONE countries jurisdiction.

"New Rules for Meteorite Hunters Unveiled" (1)

wrc (99060) | about 2 years ago | (#41638215)

That's the title of the actual Space.com post. It details how the US Bureau of Land Management has released a notice of how it will regulate the collection of meteorites on public lands. That's it.

It has nothing to do with asteroid mining. Any inference of how this would map to any asteroid mining is a wild-ass ... inference.

When people are able to mine asteroids, any "governing body" in a planetary gravity well is not going to be able to enforce early 21st century administrative law on entities that can *deliver product at will*.

Let's put it this way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41638481)

Anyone capable of mining an asteroid, is capable of dropping bombs on any part of Earth. Checkmate.

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