- Parabolic Arc
- June 2, 2023
Executive Order on Encouraging International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including title IV of the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (Public Law 114-90), it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. Space Policy Directive-1 of December 11, 2017 (Reinvigorating America’s Human Space Exploration Program), provides that commercial partners will participate in an “innovative and sustainable program” headed by the United States to “lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations.” Successful long-term exploration and scientific discovery of the Moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies will require partnership with commercial entities to recover and use resources, including water and certain minerals, in outer space.
Uncertainty regarding the right to recover and use space resources, including the extension of the right to commercial recovery and use of lunar resources, however, has discouraged some commercial entities from participating in this enterprise. Questions as to whether the 1979 Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (the “Moon Agreement”) establishes the legal framework for nation states concerning the recovery and use of space resources have deepened this uncertainty, particularly because the United States has neither signed nor ratified the Moon Agreement. In fact, only 18 countries have ratified the Moon Agreement, including just 17 of the 95 Member States of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Moreover, differences between the Moon Agreement and the 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies — which the United States and 108 other countries have joined — also contribute to uncertainty regarding the right to recover and use space resources.
Americans should have the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space, consistent with applicable law. Outer space is a legally and physically unique domain of human activity, and the United States does not view it as a global commons. Accordingly, it shall be the policy of the United States to encourage international support for the public and private recovery and use of resources in outer space, consistent with applicable law.
Sec. 2. The Moon Agreement. The United States is not a party to the Moon Agreement. Further, the United States does not consider the Moon Agreement to be an effective or necessary instrument to guide nation states regarding the promotion of commercial participation in the long-term exploration, scientific discovery, and use of the Moon, Mars, or other celestial bodies. Accordingly, the Secretary of State shall object to any attempt by any other state or international organization to treat the Moon Agreement as reflecting or otherwise expressing customary international law.
Sec. 3. Encouraging International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources. The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Transportation, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the head of any other executive department or agency the Secretary of State determines to be appropriate, shall take all appropriate actions to encourage international support for the public and private recovery and use of resources in outer space, consistent with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order. In carrying out this section, the Secretary of State shall seek to negotiate joint statements and bilateral and multilateral arrangements with foreign states regarding safe and sustainable operations for the public and private recovery and use of space resources.
Sec. 4. Report on Efforts to Encourage International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources. No later than 180 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall report to the President, through the Chair of the National Space Council and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, regarding activities carried out under section 3 of this order.
Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE,
April 6, 2020.
10 responses to “Executive Order on Encouraging International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources”
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He explicitly calls out Space Law.
This is great.
Probably the best thing this administration has done.
Not even close. But a very good thing nonetheless – especially the explicit bitch-slap to the Moon Treaty.
No, quite useful. The State Dept. and other agencies now have clear marching orders to work directly toward reciprocal agreements, within the defined framework, with any other national government that sees things our way. As Starship quickly progresses, I think we’re going to see an increasing number of nations decide that this whole area of discourse is very shortly going to graduate from fodder for theoretical discussions among wonks to matters of concern in the real world – and will get onboard. By the end of Trump’s 2nd term, the U.S. could have such agreements with more nations than have yet signed the Moon Treaty. Among those might be a few which decide to rescind their accession to the Moon Treaty as part of their arrangements.
LOL the only thing that starship is doing is blowing up…but its nice
this is nothing. there are so many obstacles to get tothis but no one is going to mine things on the moon unless the full power of national sovereignty is behind that
SpaceX has suffered bouts of shredded metal before when attempting something genuinely ambitious. It’s a passing phase.
As usual, you’re quite wrong about mining on the Moon. That will happen, at least at pilot scale, well within the decade. As it will done by Americans, there will be the full power of a national sovereignty behind it, just not financing it. Not that said full power of said national sovereignty will be particularly necessary for quite awhile. The Russians are never getting to the Moon on their own and the Chinese, when, and, especially, if, they ever get to the Moon, won’t be doing it in this decade – and probably not in the next.
and on the world of fantasy Island Musk will fly Starship in 2022
and Trump is coherent
but in the real world neither is true and no human will land on the Moon this decade sorry
Save your sorries until the end of the decade. I have a feeling you’re going to need them well before then for other purposes.
there are three things that are holding back any kind of mining on the moon
1. there is no need for the resources on earth. the history of resource development on the earth is that if there is a need for the resources then the technology is developed…ie the resource need drives the technology. there really is nothing on the moon that cannot be had cheaper on the earth
2. there is no space based resource that needs it. Ok there is water on the Moon which could with proper development make H and O. but the development cost for that JUST IN THE EQUIPMENT to do the mining would be staggering. so its easier to launch two rockets, join the upper stages and then use that …
3. the machinery to do the mining has no real use otherwise. so the cost to develop it has to be completely assigned to this effort and it would take multi generations of equipment to come to something that is sustainable.
there are about two or three others including launch cost but those are near trivial compare to these top three…then we get to national sovereignty issues…which this doesnt address