Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Wednesday, March 07, 2007

  The best idea for asteroid threat mitigation

The best idea I've seen yet for financing an independent search for asteroids just went by on slashdot.org.

Offer up the mineral rights to discoverers!! From the thread:

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Comments:
Ultimately mineral rights will go to whoever gets there first. That should be how it's done anyway. Whoever spends the billion dollars to get there should get the rock; not some yahoo with a thousand dollar telescope.

Anyway..

There's a treaty right now that treats the moon like antartica, nobody can mine it. But I'd like to see someone try to enforce that if a group started mining the moon tomorrow.
 
Greg, the moon treaty doesn't say that nobody can mine the moon. It does however say that no signatory government can claim the moon.

And that's part of the problem with granting mineral rights on asteroids. Who is doing the granting? No earthly government has any authority to be granting ownership rights to any extraterrestrial body. And so, I have to agree with Greg, that whoever gets there and starts mining first will be the ones with the rights to whatever they mine.
 
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