by Staff Writers
Washington DC (Sputnik) Feb 09, 2015
The United States government is taking a new and early approach to spur commercial development of space. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has started issuing companies licenses to own land on the moon.
In a letter to space technology company, Bigelow Aerospace, the FAA says it intends to modify its licensing regulations to "encourage private sector investments in space systems by ensuring that commercial activities can be conducted on a non-interference basis," according to Reuters.
Under such license, the company that develops inflatable space habitats, will have exclusive rights to a territory and related areas on the moon, where it can set up an inflatable habitat and perform mining and exploration.
However, this initiative was met with hesitation by the US State Department, which reminded the FAA that the US is a signatory to the 1967 United Nations treaty, which governs activities on the moon.
The UN Outer Space treaty requires countries to authorize and supervise non-government entities operating in space.
"We didn't give (Bigelow Aerospace) a license to land on the moon. We're talking about a payload review that would potentially be part of a future launch license request. But it served a purpose of documenting a serious proposal for a US company to engage in this activity that has high-level policy implications," George Nield, associate administrator for the FAA's Office of Commercial Transportation who wrote the letter told Reuters.
The letter was written in coordination with US departments of State, Defense, Commerce, as well as NASA and other agencies involved in space operations.
Bigelow Aerospace plans to test a space habitat at the International Space Station this year, and then operate free-flying orbital outposts for customers, including government agencies, research organizations, businesses and even tourists. In 2025, it intends to launch a $12 billion project of a series of bases on the moon.
Source: Sputnik International
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|