Donald Trump drafts Moon mining plan

A rendering of a possible lunar base. Source: European Space Agency

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The Trump administration is preparing a plan to mine mineral resources on the Moon. The Executive Order on “Encouraging International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources” addresses U.S. policy regarding the recovery and use of resources in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies.

President Trump underscored the U.S. commitment to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which has provided a foundational set of rules for the successful use of outer space for more than 50 years.

Known as the Artemis Accord, this Executive Order directs the Secretary of State to lead a U.S. Government effort to develop joint statements, bilateral agreements, and multilateral instruments with like-minded foreign states to enable safe and sustainable operations for the commercial recovery and use of space resources.

The government said that American industry and the industries of like-minded countries will benefit from the establishment of stable international practices by which private citizens, companies and the economy will benefit from expanding the economic sphere of human activity beyond the Earth.

The order rejects the 1979 Moon Treaty which has never been ratified by the United States, Russia or any of the other space-faring nations. It would require that space resources be governed by new international regulations that would be overseen by the United Nations.

More than 12,000 people have applied to be Artemis astronauts.

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