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What’s mine is yours. – Asteroid mining in outer space and the principle that exploration and use of Outer Space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind.

Larrosa Pardo, Martin LU (2016) LAGF03 20161
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Gruvdrift i yttre rymden har under de senaste åren vuxit fram som en reell möjlighet. Privata företag ligger i bräschen med att utveckla ny teknik för att uppnå utnyttjandet av resurser i yttre rymden. De rättsliga förutsättningarna är fortfarande ett hinder för sådana aktiviteter då de stora rymdfördragen inte uttryckligen förbjuder eller tillåter det. Problemet kring denna typ av gruvdrift har aktualiserats än mer då USA i november 2015 antog en ny lag där de berättigar amerikanska medborgare (både fysiska och juridiska) rätt till att äga, inneha, transportera och sälja rymd- och asteroidresurser.

Denna uppsats har därmed prövat gruvdrift på asteroider under denna nya amerikanska lagstiftning i förhållande till Rymdfördraget, till... (More)
Gruvdrift i yttre rymden har under de senaste åren vuxit fram som en reell möjlighet. Privata företag ligger i bräschen med att utveckla ny teknik för att uppnå utnyttjandet av resurser i yttre rymden. De rättsliga förutsättningarna är fortfarande ett hinder för sådana aktiviteter då de stora rymdfördragen inte uttryckligen förbjuder eller tillåter det. Problemet kring denna typ av gruvdrift har aktualiserats än mer då USA i november 2015 antog en ny lag där de berättigar amerikanska medborgare (både fysiska och juridiska) rätt till att äga, inneha, transportera och sälja rymd- och asteroidresurser.

Denna uppsats har därmed prövat gruvdrift på asteroider under denna nya amerikanska lagstiftning i förhållande till Rymdfördraget, till vilken USA har förbundit sig, främst utifrån dess två första artiklar. Detta fördrag utgör grunden för den internationella rymdrätten och dess principer är avgörande vid bedömningen av en rymdverksamhets laglighet. Principerna som huvudsakligen testas i denna uppsats i förhållande till om asteroidgruvdrift är tillåtet är: principerna om fri användning av rymden till nytta och intresse för alla länder, förbudet mot beslag av yttre rymden och att ”outer space is the province of all mankind”. För att svara på om den nya amerikanska lagen strider mot dessa principer, har jag tolkat vad principerna innebär. Detta har jag gjort genom fördragstolkning men även genom allegorier till andra liknande områden, så som gruvdrift på djuphavsbotten och på Antarktis samt långvarigt användande av yttre rymden genom placerandet av satelliter i den geostationära omloppsbanan med hjälp av stöd i doktrin. Baserat på dessa tolkningar drar jag slutsatsen att den nya lagstiftningen i sig inte är i strid med USA: s förpliktelser under Rymdfördraget, men tillämpningen av denna lagstiftning kan orsaka problem. Min slutsats är att syftet med gruvdrift kommer att påverka dess lagenlighet. En gruvdrift vars syfte är förenligt med principen om att vara till nytta för alla länder kommer att bedömas på en mildare basis sett till om verksamheten är otillåtet beslagtagande av yttre rymden. (Less)
Abstract
Mining in outer space has in recent years emerged as a real possibility. Private companies are at the forefront of developing new technology to achieve the exploitation of resources in outer space. The legal conditions are still a barrier because of that the large space treaties do not expressly prohibit or allows such a venture. The problem surrounding this type of mining has materialized even more when the United States in November of 2015 adopted a new law which entitles US citizens (both natural and legal) rights to own, posses, transport and sell space- and asteroid resources.

This essay has thus tried asteroid mining under this new US law in relation to The Outer Space Treaty to which the US is bound, mainly on the basis of its... (More)
Mining in outer space has in recent years emerged as a real possibility. Private companies are at the forefront of developing new technology to achieve the exploitation of resources in outer space. The legal conditions are still a barrier because of that the large space treaties do not expressly prohibit or allows such a venture. The problem surrounding this type of mining has materialized even more when the United States in November of 2015 adopted a new law which entitles US citizens (both natural and legal) rights to own, posses, transport and sell space- and asteroid resources.

This essay has thus tried asteroid mining under this new US law in relation to The Outer Space Treaty to which the US is bound, mainly on the basis of its first two articles. This treaty represents the cornerstone of international space law and its principles are decisive when assessing a space activities legality. The main principles tried in this essay on asteroid mining are the principles of use of space in the benefit of and interest of all countries, the non-appropriation of space and that outer space is the province of all mankind. In order to answer whether the new US law is contrary to these principles, I have interpreted what the principles mean by treaty interpretation but also by making allegories to other similar areas such as mining on the deep seabed on the Antarctic as well as the prolonged use of outer space through satellite operations in the geostationary orbit with the help of the works of distinguished commentators. Based on these interpretations, I conclude that the new legislation is not in itself a breach of America’s international agreements but the application of said legislation may cause problems. My conclusion is that the purpose of mining will affect the legality of the venture. A mining operation whose purpose is consistent with the benefit principle will be judged on a milder basis regarding if its action is an appropriation of Outer Space.

This essay has thus tried asteroid mining under this new US law in relation to The Outer Space Treaty to which the US is bound, mainly on the basis of its first two articles. This treaty represents the cornerstone of international space law and its principles are decisive when assessing a space activities legality. The main principles tried in this essay on asteroid mining are the principles of use of space in the benefit of and interest of all countries, the non-appropriation of space and that outer space is the province of all mankind. In order to answer whether the new US law is contrary to these principles, I have interpreted what the principles mean by treaty interpretation but also by making allegories to other similar areas such as mining on the deep seabed on the Antarctic as well as the prolonged use of outer space through satellite operations in the geostationary orbit. Based on these interpretations, I conclude that the new legislation is not in itself a breach of America’s international agreements but the application of said legislation may cause problems. My conclusion is that the purpose of mining will affect the legality of the venture. A mining operation whose purpose is consistent with the benefit principle will be judged on a milder basis regarding if its action is an appropriation of Outer Space. I mean, for example, that such activities where resources are extracted to stay in space and be used for the further exploration of space are more likely considered permissible since such exploration is in the interest of and for the benefit of all countries. Ventures with the aim to bring the resources down to earth for resale will have a tougher assessment since it is difficult to argue that it complies with the principles of benefit and interest of all countries. (Less)
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author
Larrosa Pardo, Martin LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20161
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
rymdrätt, Public international law, space law, folkrätt
language
English
id
8874610
date added to LUP
2016-07-04 12:34:32
date last changed
2016-07-04 12:34:32
@misc{8874610,
  abstract     = {Mining in outer space has in recent years emerged as a real possibility. Private companies are at the forefront of developing new technology to achieve the exploitation of resources in outer space. The legal conditions are still a barrier because of that the large space treaties do not expressly prohibit or allows such a venture. The problem surrounding this type of mining has materialized even more when the United States in November of 2015 adopted a new law which entitles US citizens (both natural and legal) rights to own, posses, transport and sell space- and asteroid resources. 

This essay has thus tried asteroid mining under this new US law in relation to The Outer Space Treaty to which the US is bound, mainly on the basis of its first two articles. This treaty represents the cornerstone of international space law and its principles are decisive when assessing a space activities legality. The main principles tried in this essay on asteroid mining are the principles of use of space in the benefit of and interest of all countries, the non-appropriation of space and that outer space is the province of all mankind. In order to answer whether the new US law is contrary to these principles, I have interpreted what the principles mean by treaty interpretation but also by making allegories to other similar areas such as mining on the deep seabed on the Antarctic as well as the prolonged use of outer space through satellite operations in the geostationary orbit with the help of the works of distinguished commentators. Based on these interpretations, I conclude that the new legislation is not in itself a breach of America’s international agreements but the application of said legislation may cause problems. My conclusion is that the purpose of mining will affect the legality of the venture. A mining operation whose purpose is consistent with the benefit principle will be judged on a milder basis regarding if its action is an appropriation of Outer Space. 

This essay has thus tried asteroid mining under this new US law in relation to The Outer Space Treaty to which the US is bound, mainly on the basis of its first two articles. This treaty represents the cornerstone of international space law and its principles are decisive when assessing a space activities legality. The main principles tried in this essay on asteroid mining are the principles of use of space in the benefit of and interest of all countries, the non-appropriation of space and that outer space is the province of all mankind. In order to answer whether the new US law is contrary to these principles, I have interpreted what the principles mean by treaty interpretation but also by making allegories to other similar areas such as mining on the deep seabed on the Antarctic as well as the prolonged use of outer space through satellite operations in the geostationary orbit. Based on these interpretations, I conclude that the new legislation is not in itself a breach of America’s international agreements but the application of said legislation may cause problems. My conclusion is that the purpose of mining will affect the legality of the venture. A mining operation whose purpose is consistent with the benefit principle will be judged on a milder basis regarding if its action is an appropriation of Outer Space. I mean, for example, that such activities where resources are extracted to stay in space and be used for the further exploration of space are more likely considered permissible since such exploration is in the interest of and for the benefit of all countries. Ventures with the aim to bring the resources down to earth for resale will have a tougher assessment since it is difficult to argue that it complies with the principles of benefit and interest of all countries.},
  author       = {Larrosa Pardo, Martin},
  keyword      = {rymdrätt,Public international law,space law,folkrätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {What’s mine is yours. – Asteroid mining in outer space and the principle that exploration and use of Outer Space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind.},
  year         = {2016},
}