In the present era, so many space activities are going on, like sending heavy space vehicles to space, establishing internet communication system on the spacecraft, making plans for landing crewed ships on the Mars. In such a scenario, is it possible for us to start mining in space as well? Well, this a question whose answer we are still to unlock.
In case of the future, profit-space-mining companies such as Planetary Resources and Deep Space industries will enter into a pact with NASA to transfer small satellites to analyze comic debris as well as lucrative harvesting options. But only because we can initiate the mining process does not imply that we should start the mining process. This was viewed by Ramin Skibba who is an astrophysicist and space explorer.
The Space Act that was passed in the year of 2015 allowed the US President “facilitate the commercial exploration and utilization of space resources to meet national needs.” However previous international laws had opposed it. In the year of 1967, the Outer Space Treaty and later in the year 1979 Moon Agreement prevents the nations on the Earth to resort to cosmic resources. It is feared that scare resources may lead to a conflict among the different countries on the Earth.
For instance, you can think of an asteroid which contains all the essential minerals and metals which would sum up to the total resources that are present on Earth. It is believed that business groups will run for the scare resources and such competition would lead space war situation which would ultimately lead to conflicts on the surface of the Earth. On the other hand, space-mining will be a risky task. This is so because if space-mining leads to breaking of asteroids, then it would lead to the destruction of the existing satellites and spacecraft.
As per the experts, commercial approach to space mining could lead to conflicts of interest among the different nations. It may also have a negative impact on the profitability of different business groups which may ultimately impact public benefit as well. The experts view that business groups will always hunt for profitability issues. They will pay less importance to science, exploration, discovery and well being of the public.
Thus, as per the valuable advice of Skibba, we should treat space as we treat Antarctica. In other words, space is to be treated as a place of scientific investigation and not a place for business exploration.