Think gun control or gay marriage are controversial topics? Buddy, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Planetary Resources is a company owned by (among others) James Cameron and Larry Page. It was founded for the sole purpose of mining asteroids for precious minerals. Once the technology is perfected, it’s a plan that could net them billions. But no-one knows if it’s legal.
Already, a titanic battle is brewing to determine whether Cameron and co might be breaking international law by laying claim to an asteroid.
If Cameron’s legal team wins, the future of space exploration may well be companies blasting out to the edges of the solar system with the sole intention of grabbing as much wealth as possible. If they lose, the whole of space will remain like Antarctica—a scientific zone free from the profit motive. With Planetary Resources looking to start mining by the 2030s, it’s a choice we’re gonna have to make soon.