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Trump Order: US Should Mine Moon for Minerals

This 'order establishes US policy toward the recovery and use of space resources'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2020 3:40 AM CDT
Trump Order: US Should Mine Moon for Minerals
This photo released by NASA shows the Earth rising above the stark Moon, and was taken by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders on the Apollo 8 mission during the waning days of a chaotic 1968.   (AP Photo/NASA)

(Newser) – President Trump issued an executive order Monday urging the US to mine the moon, and possibly other celestial bodies, for minerals, the Guardian reports. "Americans should have the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space," says the order, which notes that the US did not sign the 1979 moon treaty that said space activities should conform to international law. The US does not consider space a "global commons," the order says, meaning the US should be able to drill there without needing an international treaty.

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The order says that if international law is used to try to stop the US from removing parts of the moon or, possibly, Mars and other celestial bodies should that become possible, Washington will object. "As America prepares to return humans to the moon and journey on to Mars, this executive order establishes US policy toward the recovery and use of space resources, such as water and certain minerals, in order to encourage the commercial development of space," says the deputy assistant to the president and executive secretary of the US National Space Council, per Space.com. (Read more moon stories.)

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