Developing a Law of Asteroids: Constants, Variables, and Alternatives


The proposition of mining an asteroid for natural resources is quickly moving from the realm of science fiction into viable reality. Meanwhile, the legal status of an asteroid-mining venture remains doubtful. This Note gives the legal problems a firmer foundation in scientific experience, weighs the merits and shortcomings of the extant proposals, considers which empirical variables should shape any future legal approach to asteroid law, and addresses some of the more general challenges of making law prospectively.