DOI: 10.5553/IISL/2022065007005

International Institute of Space LawAccess_open


The Multi-Level System of Space Mining: Regulatory Aspects and Enforcement Options


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    Few contests that space resource activities hold the potential to revolutionize the space sector. Whether this revolution will be for good or for worse also depends on how these activities will be regulated. Under the right framework, space resource activities can certainly deliver on their promise of a new era of prosperous and sustainable space exploration. But with the wrong rules (or lack thereof), they can destabilize the space community to an unprecedented scale that might seriously compromise the peaceful and cooperative uses of outer space.
    This paper provides a highlight of the key findings developed by the author after four years of specialized research on the governance of space mining. First, the paper presents fundamental boundary conditions and open questions posed by the applicability of the OST to space mining. Second, the paper discusses the enforceability of existing national and international norms related to space mining. Finally, the paper proposes two correctives that can help stabilize the system and ensure the safe, sustainable, rational and peaceful conduct of space mining.

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