Russia Compares Trump's Space Mining Order to Colonialism

James Marshall
April 8, 2020

The executive order titled "Encouraging International Support For The Recovery And Use Of Space Resources" will create long-time suitability in the human exploration of Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies.

Details: The executive order directs the State Department to find global partners that are interested in collaborating with the US on creating "sustainable operations" related to commercial use of space-based resources.

The executive order makes clear that the United States doesn't view space as a "global commons", opening the way for the mining of the moon without any sort of worldwide treaty.

"Attempts to expropriate outer space and aggressive plans to actually seize territories of other planets hardly set the countries (on course for) fruitful cooperation", its statement said.

The order also affirms America's commitment to the 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty, which prevents nations from laying claim to celestial bodies but doesn't forbid companies and countries from using any resources they harvest in space.

Russia, a leading producer of natural resources, first announced its plans to join Luxembourg in mining for minerals in outer space at the beginning of March previous year.

USA space policy is aligned with the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which the White House argues allows for the commercial exploitation of off-earth resources, including those discovered on the moon or other celestial bodies.

Like the United States, Russia has been pursuing plans in recent years to return to the moon and potentially further into outer space.

The view that the moon's resources are there for the taking has been common among government officials for years.

The Kremlin later said any colonization of space would be "unacceptable".

Relations between Russian Federation and the United States are at post-Cold War lows, but cooperation on space has continued despite an array of differences over everything from Ukraine to accusations of election meddling.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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