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Tanja Masson-Zwaan on 'Spraakmakers' about mining the moon

Commercial parties offering space travel, space waste, claiming the moon, potentially exploiting resources ... It’s going to get busy in space in the coming years. But there are no clear agreements about this. Tanja Masson-Zwaan, Assistant Professor of Space Law, talked about the topic in Spraakmakers on NPO Radio 1.

Tanja Masson-Zwaan

According to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, no one is allowed to appropriate space. 'But you are allowed to use and explore it,' says Masson-Zwaan. 'The question now is whether the use of resources – raw materials that we can put to good use on Earth – also falls under appropriation. It seems to be agreed now that we are allowed to use these resources, but rules are needed to regulate their mining.'

'Things are still at the exploration stage. We’re all very excited about extracting resources from the moon, but it’s going to take a few years before we actually get there. In the meantime, we need to make clear agreements with each other to prevent the moon from becoming some kind of Wild West.' 

Find out more?

Listen to the whole fragment (in Dutch) on radio programme Spraakmakers.

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