US seeks to change the rules for mining the moon

By Scott Shackelford

Private industries have helped drop the cost of launching rockets, satellites and other equipment into space to historic lows. That has boosted interest in developing space—both for mining raw materials such as silicon for solar panels and oxygen for rocket fuel, as well as potentially relocating polluting industries off the Earth. But the rules are not clear about who would profit if, for instance, a U.S. company like SpaceX colonized Mars or established a moon base.

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