Russian Space Agency: Trump Trying to ‘Expropriate Outer Space’ with Mining Decree

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order during a meeting of the National Space Council at the East Room of the White House June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump signed an executive order to establish the Space Force, an independent and co-equal …
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Russia’s space agency accused U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday of setting a precedent to take over other planets by signing an executive order outlining United States policy on commercial mining in space.

The executive order, signed on Monday, clears the way for the U.S. to mine the moon without seeking permission from any sort of international treaty.

“Americans should have the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space,” the order states.

The U.S. never signed a 1979 treaty, known as The Moon Agreement, the order points out, that stipulates any activities in space should conform to international law. Thus, the U.S. will object to any attempt to use international law to hinder its efforts in the “long-term exploration, scientific discovery, and use of the Moon, Mars, or other celestial bodies,” according to the order.

Russian space agency Roscosmos, said the order damaged the scope for international cooperation in space, contradicting the notion that all of space belongs to all people on earth.

“Attempts to expropriate outer space and aggressive plans to de facto seize the territories of other planets will hardly encourage other nations to participate in fruitful cooperation,” Roscosmos said in a statement shared by Russian state media on Tuesday.

The order assured the world that, although the U.S. does not view space as a “global commons,” the country would seek to negotiate “joint statements and bilateral and multilateral arrangements with foreign states regarding safe and sustainable operations for the public and private recovery and use of space resources.”

In 2015, Congress passed a law allowing American companies to use resources from the moon and asteroids.

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