No country can lay claim to sovereignty over a planet, moon or rocky body. But in the absence of clear laws regulating mining in space, it's a case of first in, best dressed for resource extraction.
Why carry building materials from Earth into space, when we can build structures by 3D printing using materials found out there?
Space mining could generate a massive resources boom. Here's a way to make sure the benefits of that boom reach everyone on the planet.
We're on the cusp of being able to consistently launch and land rockets, greatly reducing the cost of space travel. But how long before there's a Millennium Falcon in every garage?
No one nation should be allowed to go it alone and develop a mining industry in space. It needs an international effort and Australia, with a long history in mining, can play its part.
If we're going to mine asteroids, then we need an international treaty to prevent it becoming a wild west. Thankfully we can look to Antarctica to see how such a treaty might work.
Mining in space is no longer science fiction. But could it end wars over resources, as Neil deGrasse Tyson has suggested?