The FAA Is Encouraging U.S. Businesses to Set Up Shop on the Moon
But what happens when they mine all of the cheese?
We might not know what the Moon is (we actually do), but that won’t stop our businesses from claiming pieces of it as their own. Documents from the FAA suggest that they want to help companies in the United States set up shop on the moon. The Mooninites will be thrilled to have their own malls to rob.
An FAA letter addressed to Bigelow Aerospace, obtained by Reuters, says that the agency plans to, “leverage the FAA’s existing launch licensing authority to encourage private sector investments in space systems by ensuring that commercial activities can be conducted on a non-interference basis.” The FAA also mentioned in the letter that they “recognize the private sector’s need to protect its assets and personnel on the moon or on other celestial bodies.”
Reuters reported that the language of the letter would allow for Bigelow to set up one of their inflatable space habitats on the Moon and automatically have rights to its immediate vicinity. George Nield, associate administrator for the FAA’s Office of Commercial Transportation and letter of the author, clarified that this wasn’t giving Bigelow Aerospace a license to land on the Moon just yet; they were just talking about the logistics of a future space launch licensing agreement.
Such a license would be tricky to secure due to international treaties and agreements on ownership and exploration of the Moon and outer space, but Bigelow’s goal is to get around those international technicalities by not actually owning land on the Moon. Instead, the policy statement that Bigelow requested from the FAA would simply ensure that no one tries to land directly on top of their blow-up space house when they start trying to put them up there in 2025.
It’s probably for the best that companies don’t go trying to buy up the whole Moon for themselves. We can be fairly certain of the response from the Moon’s current inhabitants:
(via The Verge)