White House signals support for a new international Moon Treaty
On April 6, the White House released a new executive order that stated the administration will work to formalize rules regarding the collection and use of resources regarding space and the Moon. While the US and several other countries did not endorse the 1979 attempt to create a “Moon Treaty,” renewed interest in further Moon exploration and space has prompted the White House to announce it is considering a new international agreement on the topic.
Although the order does not introduce anything but remains a policy statement, the step is an indication that the US plans to push forward with a potential framework regarding the use of resources in space. The issue remains controversial and complex, as it is still up in the air whether traditional laws apply when up in space. Many rules and laws on the topic are also outdated, written during the Cold War era of the twentieth century. There are also very few official legal restrictions on materials harvested on the moon.