Redmond, Wash. – November 10, 2015 — Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, praises the members of Congress who promoted historic legislation (H.R. 2262) that recognizes the right of U.S. citizens to own asteroid resources they obtain as property and encourages the commercial exploration and recovery of resources from asteroids, free from harmful interference.
This legislation creates a pro-growth environment for the development of the commercial space industry by encouraging private sector investment and ensuring a more stable and predictable regulatory regime. This law is important for the industry and is integral to protecting and supporting U.S. interests as the commercial space sector continues to expand.
“We are proud to have the support of Congress. Throughout history, governments have spurred growth in new frontiers by instituting sensible legislation. Long ago, The Homestead Act of 1862 advocated for the search for gold and timber, and today, H.R. 2262 fuels a new economy that will open many avenues for the continual growth and prosperity of humanity. This off-planet economy will forever change our lives for the better here on Earth,” said Chris Lewicki, President and Chief Engineer, Planetary Resources, Inc.
“Planetary Resources is grateful for the leadership shown by Congress in crafting this legislation and looks forward to President Obama signing the language into law. We applaud the members of Congress who have led this effort and actively sought stakeholder input to ensure a vibrant economy and prosperous way of life now and for centuries to come. Patty Murray (D-WA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Bill Posey (R-FL) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) have been unwavering in their support and leadership for the growth of the U.S. economy into the Solar System. Their forward-looking stance and active role in enabling the development of an economically and strategically valuable new marketplace will ensure our country’s continued leadership in space,” said Peter Marquez, Vice President of Global Engagement, Planetary Resources, Inc.
Senator Murray said, “I am glad that we’ve taken this important step forward to update our federal policies to make sure they work for innovative businesses creating jobs in Washington state. Washington state leads in so many ways, and I’m proud that local businesses are once again at the forefront of new industries that will help our economy continue to grow.”
Congressman Posey said, “This bipartisan, bicameral legislation is a landmark for American leadership in space exploration. Recognizing basic legal protections in space will help pave the way for exciting future commercial space endeavors. Asteroids and other objects in space are excellent potential sources of rare minerals and other resources that can be used to manufacture a wide range of products here on Earth and to support future space exploration missions. Americans willing to invest in space mining operations need legal certainty that they can keep the fruits of their labor, and this bill provides that certainty.”
Congressman Kilmer said, “The commercial space industry in Washington state is leading the way in developing the cutting edge technology necessary to support human space exploration. The U. S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act will give these ventures the framework they need to continue to innovate, and to keep the United States at the head of this growing, global industry. I congratulate the Senate for taking this step, and I look forward to the House quickly sending this bill to President Obama’s desk.”
Eric Anderson, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc., said, “Many years from now, we will view this pivotal moment in time as a major step toward humanity becoming a multi-planetary species. This legislation establishes the same supportive framework that created the great economies of history, and it will foster the sustained development of space.”
TITLE IV—SPACE RESOURCE EXPLORATION AND UTILIZATION
SEC. 401. SHORT TITLE.
This title may be cited as the ‘‘Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act of 2015’’.
SEC. 402. TITLE 51 AMENDMENT.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Subtitle V is amended by adding at the end the following:
‘‘CHAPTER 513—SPACE RESOURCE COMMERCIAL EXPLORATION AND UTILIZATION
‘‘51302. Commercial exploration and commercial recovery.
‘‘51303. Asteroid resource and space resource rights.
‘‘§ 51301. Definitions
‘‘In this chapter:
‘‘(1) ASTEROID RESOURCE.—The term ‘asteroid resource’ means a space resource found on or within a single asteroid.
‘‘(2) SPACE RESOURCE.—
‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘space resource’ means an abiotic resource in situ in outer space.
‘‘(B) INCLUSIONS.—The term ‘space resource’ includes water and minerals.
‘‘(3) UNITED STATES CITIZEN.—The term ‘United States citizen’ has the meaning given the term ‘citizen of the United States’ in section 50902.
‘‘§ 51302. Commercial exploration and commercial recovery
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—The President, acting through appropriate Federal agencies, shall—
‘‘(1) facilitate commercial exploration for and commercial recovery of space resources by United States citizens;
‘‘(2) discourage government barriers to the development in the United States of economically viable, safe, and stable industries for commercial exploration for and commercial recovery of space resources in manners consistent with the international obligations of the United States; and
‘‘(3) promote the right of United States citizens to engage in commercial exploration for and commercial recovery of space resources free from harmful interference, in accordance with the international obligations of the United States and subject to authorization and continuing supervision by the Federal Government.
‘‘(b) REPORT.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, the President shall submit to Congress a report on commercial exploration for and commercial recovery of space resources by United States citizens that specifies—
‘‘(1) the authorities necessary to meet the international obligations of the United States, including authorization and continuing supervision by the Federal Government; and
“(2) recommendations for the allocation of responsibilities among Federal agencies for the activities described in paragraph (1).
‘‘§ 51303. Asteroid resource and space resource rights
‘‘A United States citizen engaged in commercial recovery of an asteroid resource or a space resource under this chapter shall be entitled to any asteroid resource or space resource obtained, including to possess, own, transport, use, and sell the asteroid resource or space resource obtained in accordance with applicable law, including the international obligations of the United States.’’.
(b) TABLE OF CHAPTERS.—The table of chapters for title 51 is amended by adding at the end of the items for subtitle V the following:
‘‘513. Space resource commercial exploration and utilization …………….. 51301’’.
SEC. 403. DISCLAIMER OF EXTRATERRITORIAL SOVEREIGNTY.
It is the sense of Congress that by the enactment of this Act, the United States does not thereby assert sovereignty or sovereign or exclusive rights or jurisdiction over, or the ownership of, any celestial body.