The Philae, which landed on a comet and then shut down, has woken up. So, once again, we await data on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
In light of the quote I posted earlier today, I thought I’d point out that there’s disagreement among space law experts on the legality of mining asteroids. You’d think this is a cut-and-dry issue; first come, first served. However, the issue is actually complex due to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 by which countries voluntarily agreed not to lay claim to outer space. The treaty promotes scientific discovery by assuring us free access to wherever we visit. Some have argued that the prohibition applies to governments, not their citizens. The only test so far: A citizen that claimed the asteroid, Eros, essentially wrote NASA a parking ticket, which NASA refused to pay. Would you agree that we need a bit more to settle this issue?
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Rob Bodine is a Virginia attorney focusing his practice on real estate and intellectual property law. He’s currently Virginia counsel with First Class Title, Inc., a Maryland title insurance and settlement company. Rob is also a licensed title insurance agent in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.