A new project spearheaded by two Western University professors aims to address the gaps in regulation surrounding space mining — and what this will mean for countries and companies that have their eye on the field.
The increasing demand for non-renewable natural resources has garnered deep interest by many countries worldwide to the possibility of harvesting resources from outer space.
Western University law professors Valerie Oosterveld and Elizabeth Steyn launched a research project to look into the laws governing space mining and whether or not international environmental law can be help address the lack of regulation in the emerging field.
Oosterveld, who is also a faculty member for the Institute of Earth and Space Exploration at Western, told CBC’s London Morning there has been a recent push to capture asteroids to bring strategic minerals back to earth.
“Asteroids can contain a number of rare earth metals and these are considered strategically important because they are an integral part of manufacturing electronic devices, electric vehicle batteries and military equipment here on earth,” she said.
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