WASHINGTON: In the midst of the global pandemic, coronavirus crisis, US President Donald Trump has found time to sign an Executive Order charting out a new US policy on recovery and use of resources on the Moon, including water and minerals.
Reportedly, Trump signed the order on April 6 which stated that the US does not need permission of international agreements to do this since it does not see outer space as a common area for resources. It also stated that Outer space is a legally and physically unique domain of human activity.
According to reports, the signing of this order may end a decades-long debate, that had started with the signing of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which forms the basis of international space law and commercial activities in outer space.
As of June 2019, the Treaty has been signed by no less than 109 countries while another 23 have signed it but have not yet completed the ratification process.
According to reports, metals such as lithium or cobalt are mainly in places like China, Russia or Congo. As it is difficult to source materials from different suppliers with different rules, countries like the US are looking at the moon