On Tuesday evening Congress took a key step toward encouraging the development of this industry by passing on H.R. 2262, the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, with bipartisan support. The legislation provides a number of pro-business measures, such as establishing legal rights for US citizens to own resources in outer space as well as extending indemnification for commercial launches through 2025.
“This bill provides the boost America’s private space partners need as they lead the world into the future,” said Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican who chairs the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. “This bill will keep America at the forefront of aerospace technology, create jobs, reduce red tape, promote safety, and inspire the next generation of explorers.”
Space mining advocates, including Planetary Resources, praised the new law. “Many years from now, we will view this pivotal moment in time as a major step toward humanity becoming a multi-planetary species,” said Eric Anderson, co-founder and co-chairman of the asteroid mining company—which is backed by several Google founders. “This legislation establishes the same supportive framework that created the great economies of history, and it will foster the sustained development of space.”
Still, I’d avoid Europa.