A “legal blueprint for mining on the moon” was tipped to be in the works in the White House under the U.S.-sponsored international agreement called the Artemis Accords. A report this week suggests that a draft pact has not yet been “formally shared” with any U.S. allies as of yet. This agreement would be made in association with NASA and ideally agreed upon by by government officials around the world.
According to sources speaking with Rueters, U.S. officials plan to “formally negotiate the accords” with international governments. Specifically “space partners” that’ve worked with the USA in the past, such as Japan, Canada, and other “European countries” as well as the United Arab Emirates. The Rueters report notes that these accords would open talks with “countries that the Trump administration sees as having ‘like-minded’ interests in lunar mining.”
The document for the pact has an aim to “provide a framework under international law for companies to own the resources they mine.” Sources suggested that Russia “won’t be an early partner” on the accord due to the Pentagon’s latest views on “threatening” satellite maneuvers toward U.S. spy satellites in orbit around Earth.
This is not the first time the United States has maneuvered to enact laws or agreements for the mining of resources outside of our planet Earth. The USA’s 2015 law U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act acted “to facilitate a pro-growth environment for the developing commercial space industry by encouraging private sector investment and creating more stable and predictable regulatory conditions.”
International agreements must be enacted before any sort of exclusive area could be staked out for mining, science, or any related matter. The “Artemis Accords” aim to be that sort of agreement. This would be the latest effort at which NASA would be the face of American foreign policy. NASA’s Artemis Program is the overarching title of the space organization’s efforts to reach our moon once more, and eventually use the moon as a jumping-off point for humanity’s eventual journey to Mars.