Space: the final frontier for capitalism Essay

Now we consider the scenario that certain revisions are made to the OST, particularly, the claim of land is permitted. We will investigate what benefits this change will bring and leave the finer details of how this land will be divided to the specialists.

Being allowed to claim land on the moon and other celestial bodies means the parties involved will have three primary rights: 1) sole access to the resources 2) jurisdiction over activities on the land and 3) control of borders and who/what gets in or out.

So, in what ways would this be beneficial? We look primarily into two cases: Firstly, companies mining for resources on celestial bodies, and secondly settlement of colonies on celestial bodies.

Let us investigate the former. Jurisdiction and control of borders do not apply here as much as sole access to resources. Currently, asteroid mining, though a great source for resources, is not exploited to its full potential. The high cost of spaceflight and extraction cause it to be not such a practical alternative to resources on Earth. Although certain private investors are of the opinion that the flexibility of the OST is beneficial to them [1] most investors would prefer some security over their investment. Consider the following scenario: A company invests large amounts of money in technology to reach and mine a distant asteroid. Upon reaching, it is met by a competitor wishing to mine from the same asteroid, lowering the benefits for both. Ownership protections would increase investor confidence regarding such scenarios.

Next, we investigate the settlement on colonies. Considering NASA’s intention to have colonies on Mars within the next few decades, and Elon Musk’s earlier still, it can be seen why this is a relevant case to consider. As per current laws, the astronauts, stations, installments, equipment, and space vehicles in the colony fall under the jurisdiction of a state on Earth. This is without them having any claim to the land that is being resided on. However, ownership of the land permits the colony to ensure their security and not have a conflict with any other party trying to mine off the land that sustains them. It would also allow them to rest assured that other parties will respect their right to remain at a given location.

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