Anyone who thought the Klondike gold rush was a bit far afield is not going to be interested in the latest news from NASA.
The american space organisation is finished the first stage of a bidding round for private companies who are interested in working with them on the project which aim is mining the Moon.
The Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown program – a name that can, with a bit of heavy-handed manipulation, be turned into the acronym CATALYST – will use robot to mine the Moon for valuable resources like helium 3 and rare earth metals.
Of course, mining is something that usually takes place on the territory of sovereign states, and exploration of areas that don’t legally belong to anyone usually causes a lot of consternation – just think of Antarctica.
Mining the Moon is definitely going to take some new legal langauge….and we journalists are going to be left wondering is you can call mining on the Moon without proper laws for a Wild West-like scenario…or whether a mining station on the Moon can be a boom town without any Oxygen present at all….