One of the most debated issues in humankind’s ongoing ventures into outer space today from a legal perspective concerns the various plans and projects for long-term human settlements on the Moon and Mars and the accompanying interest in In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) as part of what more commonly is known as “space mining.” Given the lack of precision of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty,1 the lack of support for the 1979 Moon Agreement,2 and the more recent enunciation of a few national laws on the matter,3 major questions arise as to the extent of the legality of commercial exploitation of (as for now in particular) lunar natural resources and the relevant parameters and implications. The present essay presents an effort to answer those questions, at least at a general level, with a view to the future of the law pertinent to space resource exploitation on celestial bodies.
von der Dunk, Frans G.
"Property Rights Over the Moon or On the Moon? The Legality of Space Resource Exploitation on Celestial Bodies,"
Journal of Law & Innovation: Vol. 6:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/jli/vol6/iss1/3