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Robert Bigelow sets sights on lunar mining

Posted on Thursday, 14 November, 2013 | Comment icon 33 comments

An artist's impression of a moon base. Image Credit: NASA/Dennis M. Davidson
The Bigelow Aerospace Inc. chief is calling for the rights to conduct mining operations on the moon.
Private space companies may soon be paving the way towards a whole new industry of space-based mining operations, that is according to Robert Bigelow who has called on the US government to provide lunar mining rights to companies that help to develop new technologies for NASA.

"The time has come to get serious about lunar property rights," he said. "Ultimately, permanent lunar bases will have to be anchored to permanent commercial facilities. Without property rights there will be no justification for investment and the risk to life."

The concept of mining in space has been gaining momentum in recent years which several companies announcing future plans to tap in to asteroids as a source of valuable materials.

With NASA planning to bring a small asteroid in to near-Earth orbit within the next decade, it may not be too long before the idea of mining in space becomes a reality.

Source: National Geographic | Comments (33)

Tags: Bigelow, Mining, Moon

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by Frank Merton on 18 November, 2013, 2:58
That was not a "question," but a bit of rhetoric to point out that the fact that there is nothing preventing people from making claims either.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Chooky88 on 18 November, 2013, 4:33
Ok, thanks. "Space, the final frontier" , with all its inherent frontier laws and treaties yet to be written.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Sky Scanner on 18 November, 2013, 10:45
Personally I can't see any wars being started etc....I just think that when you take your eye off the ball then don't be surprised when you're left asking for a piece of the pie. Collectively, the Chinese probably have the best business brains on the planet, add to that the Outer Space Treaties own wording related to ownership of space assets, and there launch facilities, then if you have a significant presence somewhere already then it's going to be left to others to get bidding (for want of a better word) to get a piece of the pie, instead of being pro-active and taking th... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by skookum on 18 November, 2013, 12:51
I hope he succeeds. If every time somebody did something new they gave up at the first hurdle as it being to difficult we would all be still living in caves. Even if it ends up to be uneconomical with current technology I am sure we will still learn lots from the research into it and hopefully test flights. It amazes me that people think we are going to 'ruin' the moon. It is a dead body, it has no lifeforms or ecological system so providing we don't blow it up or alter it's gravitational pull or orbit. We should make the most of the resources it has to offer.
Comment icon #28 Posted by Merc14 on 18 November, 2013, 14:31
Concur with all you said with one littel caveat, please no 700 mile long Coca Cola adverts or the like up there.
Comment icon #29 Posted by danielost on 20 November, 2013, 2:34
The first country to put a base on the moon will control who goes into space and who doesn't.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Sky Scanner on 20 November, 2013, 7:03
How did you come to that conclusion?
Comment icon #31 Posted by danielost on 20 November, 2013, 15:32
They will be holding the high ground. They wouldn't even need a warhead, just big rocks. Besides once there they would onky need to start hiring around the globe, as in startrek and star fleet.
Comment icon #32 Posted by Sky Scanner on 20 November, 2013, 16:40
None of that means that anyone will be controlling who goes into Space. Sounds like paranoia to me..
Comment icon #33 Posted by The New Richard Nixon on 25 November, 2013, 10:11
I bet the same thing happend when the Soviets sent sputnik. I could see this happen,we have a right to do anything we want and this would encourage space flights to the Moon, so space tourism would again be boosted. I know i am thinking ahead but it could happen

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