According to the BBC, private companies like Planetary Resources want to turn asteroids into filling stations for spaceships. Asteroids could provide water and oxygen for crews as well as hydrogen for fuel. While the idea makes sense — currently a spacecraft has to carry everything it needs from the start — it may meet stiff international opposition.
Unfortunately, strict legislation in the form of the 1966 United Nations' Outer Space Treaty already prohibits national appropriation of space resources. Basically, mining the moon is legally off limits.
But, experts say mining asteroids - particularly for resources which could remain in space - falls into a legal grey area unconceived of by legislators four decades ago.
As the commercial space industry grows, with billions of dollars already invested, entrepreneurs argue they should be able to own what they find. The costs are simply too great to risk having their discoveries taken from them by governments or competitors.
|"We can do better than Mars."|
|"Kepler 186f is the first validated, Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star."|
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|"There are around 700 quintillion planets in the universe, but only one like Earth."|
|"It’s appealing to imagine a world where artificial wombs grow babies."|
|"Frozen brains could be thawed and inserted into a donor body."|
|"Have you ever pondered why we itch in the first place?"|
|Google's Self-Driving Cars Giving Rides to the Public|
|"Academics who study basic income said the pilot gives a chance to see how the idea plays in a changed economy."|
|"You look in the mirror and see your body and your face and you think that’s you—but that’s really just the machine you’re riding in."|
|"This created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst."|
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|Where AI is Currently At|
|"Super-detailed scans of actual human brains that run as models on computers"|