Communitarian Laws versus Venture Capitalism
Posted by Coyote on June 24, 2007
Do international treaties and laws impede the development of space-based solar power?
Last week at small symposium in Colorado, a professor of space law argued that the profits from any resource harvested from space, to include energy, must be shared with all of humanity and that this principle is enshrined in Article I of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967:
“The exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.”
Well, so much for making a business case for space-based solar power!
But wait a minute you might say, what about profits from commercial ventures already on orbit, such as communications, imagery, plans for Galileo, and the like…should those companies be sharing profits with all of us?
Extrapolating from the professor’s comments, no, those companies are not removing anything from space, but space-based solar power would–it would remove energy from space and broadcasting it to Earth for profit–therefore the profits must be shared with everyone on the planet.
What is up with that? More importantly, what is to be done about that?