April 19, 2016
The trajectory of H.R. 1508 through the policy process was relatively uneventful considering this bill pertains to mining asteroids in space, and in fact, beyond earth’s orbit, a feat that the governments of our world has not even acknowledged is even humanly possible at this point in time on April of 2016. Although this law, in and of itself, would raise many questions about our knowledge about asteroids, human existence, and human capabilities beyond earth’s orbit and even beyond the Van Allen Radiation belt, and perhaps into the Kuiper Belt or also knows as Asteroid belt that reaches far into the outer layer of our system but, that philosophical discussion will have to wait until another time to investigate. This bill is no less remarkable in scope and implication for mankind.
Bill H. R 1508 was sponsored by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) and was introduced on March 19, 2015 where thereafter, it was placed on the Union Calendar No. 111 on June 15, 2015 (Personal Communication, Rep. Posey’s office). There was a corresponding Bill in the Senate sponsored by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) bill S-976. (Personal Communication, Rep. Posey’s office). Congressman Posey’s congressional district in his state of Florida includes the Kennedy Space Center and customarily represents issues pertaining to Space and NASA, and thus confirms the appropriateness of his sponsorship. It later became Title IV of a larger amended bill, H.R. 2262, whose purpose is to “facilitate a pro-growth environment for the developing commercial space industry by encouraging private sector investment and creating more stable and predictable regulatory conditions, and for other purposes.” The short title of this act may be referenced as “U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act” and, as an amendment Subtitle V of title 51 of United States Code. Since H.R. 1508 is contained within this larger Bill it is noteworthy to look at the larger bill for overall subject relevance and context. However, only the details of the trajectory of bill H.R. 1508 will be highlighted herein. The background on this bill may not be well known to the public at large thus a review may be prudent as well as the basis for passing this into law.
By definition of U.S. code § 51301 ‘Space Resource’ is defined as a natural resource of any kind found in situ in outer space. An Asteroid Resource is defined as a space resource found on or within a single asteroid. The State is referred to as any of the several states including The District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Common wealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other Commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States. And finally, the United States Commercial Space resource Utilization Entity means any entity means an entity providing space resource exploration or utilization services, the control of which is held by persons other than a Federal, State, local or foreign government and that is duly organized under both the state and federal jurisdiction of the courts of the United States.
Under U.S. Code §51302 the President, acting through appropriate Federal agencies, may execute his duty to oversee certain functions related to this program
The legal framework under U.S. Code §51303 outlines and assigns property rights, safety of operations, and civil action relief from Harmful Interference.
The purpose of H.R. 1508 the “Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act of 2015” was to “establish legal framework to govern property rights of resources obtained from asteroids enabling this new industry and providing clarity for future entrepreneurs” (House of Representatives Report , June 15, 2015). There are a number of entrepreneurs in the United States whose businesses are either investing in or developing the technical capability to explore and utilize outer space resources. These individuals and corporations are concerned about regulatory interference and thus the impetus for this bill having been introduced. This bill effectively establishes Outer Space Treaty rights that are further empowered by this legal framework for governing property rights of resources obtained from asteroids and to avoid causing harmful interference in outer space. Additionally, this bill gives the President discretion to facilitate commercialization by discouraging government barriers, promoting commercial entities rights to explore and utilize space resources and submit reports to congress on these efforts and barriers, in order to meet the need of the international obligations of the U.S.
In cooperation with international obligations the U.S. is party to the “Outer Space Treaty” and several Conventions and Agreements all pertaining to U.S. space activities of retrieving, removing and use of in-situ asteroid resources. Article 1 of the Outer Space Treaty states: “The exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon, and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind”, (Report submitted by the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, 2015, [hereinafter referred to RCSST, 2015]). Hence, although the actual number of States or entities who will actually participate in these activities is relatively low considering the technology and expense to travel into space and mine for resources, this Treaty makes it clear that the ultimate benefactor is to be all of mankind. Since such activities have yet to be announced or acknowledged if currently engaged in one must assume that in order to justify passing this bill into laws that such engagement is imminent. And, that although only an exclusive group will actually be the initial benefactors of this commercialization and utilization, that the knowledge and advancements gained from this activity will indeed benefit mankind and not a select group of elite entrepreneurs or governments to the exclusion of the rest of humanity. However, the opponents or critics of this bill do not recognize the right of exploitation and whose opinion is limited to private property. In such cases of perceived violations of the Outer Space Treaty, the remedy is within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Courts.
Federal Courts are granted Jurisdiction over entities defined in §51301(4) and in-situ asteroid resources that have been removed from and asteroid from such entities. Federal courts however do not claim jurisdiction over outer space, the Moon, or other celestial bodies. Article 6 of the Outer Space Treaty authorizes the U.S. government to supervise non-governmental entities in outer space and ensure their activities are in conformity with the Outer Space Treaty through the Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation and the Federal Communications Commission. This jurisdiction is specifically related to the activities outlined in H.R. 1508 and to a larger degree activities contained in H.R. 2262. However the committee acknowledges other proposed outer space activities that include on-orbit satellite servicing, space tourism, human habitation and space solar generation etc., it does not direct the President to report on the sufficiency of existing authorities to meet international obligations with respect to these and other activities.
Committee consideration was held on May 13, 2015 in open session and ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 1508, as amended, by roll call vote, a quorum being present. The cost reported in the congressional record is $1,000,000 to implement. The congressional policy process of H.R. 1508 was introduced into the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology during the 113th and 114th congress where many revisions were made pertaining to this bill. The subcommittee on Space also reviewed this bill by other names
In terms of implementation, this is clearly a top down policy due to the unique subject matter and that there is no real demand for this policy in the real world on a day to day basis for people. I say it is top down because the intention is that the knowledge gained will eventually benefit to mankind. The advances to mankind will be in understanding more about physics and chemistry and other sciences and of course in the process learning more about ourselves and our place in the universe, and that can only benefit mankind as we charter new frontiers in outer space to explore new celestial bodies i.e., planets, and discover what if anything inhabits them.
As humans continue exploration of outer space in search of evidence of extraterrestrial life and natural resources on other planets, policy makers must be able to form guidelines that show they can exploit natural resources in a responsible manner. Our track record is not the best so I think it is prudent to take this policy step now before we begin to exploit resources on asteroids and take into account our ‘footprint’ that we leave behind. So far on earth, we are not very successful at this.
There is however, alleged mining operation already taking place in outer space and there is debate as to how long these mining operation have been going on and who is running the operations ( ). It is argued that H.R. 2262 will provide legal protection for corporations engaged in off-world mining operations that utilize conscripted human labor that they may have already been engaging in for decades. A whistleblower has reported having worked in the Secret Space Program , which is classified as a black budget project of the U.S. Government that is run by the Military Industrial Complex that President Eisenhower had publicly warned Americans about in ( ). There was allegedly an agreement that was reached with both President Truman and President Eisenhower with alleged Extraterrestrials in 1952( ). This agreement was for advanced technology to be given to the U.S. Government that belonged to the Extraterrestrials in exchange for a small amount of abductions of humans and cattle for scientific research. The result of this agreement provided new technology for fiber optics and transistors in addition to reverse engineered anti-gravity propulsion technology which was being developed in Hitler’s Nazi Germany during WWII ( ). However, the Extraterrestrials were reported to be of a negative orientation and did not honor good faith on their end. Thousands and thousands of abductions have been reported across the globe and experiencers have vivid recall of their experiences. Needless to say, humanity was sold out by the Military Industrial Complex according to some sources ( ) and there have been reportedly many conflicts with these beings ever since.
Although to some this may sound like conspiracy theory since there has been no official acknowledgement from the U.S. Government about these activities. However, the Military Industrial Complex, as President Eisenhower referred to it, has classified their activity including activity at the famous Area 51 in the Arizona desert.
At this point in time, there is no Evaluation taken place in this process since it has not
occurred in a public manner. However, as with many unique policies, the importance of policy
change due to unintended or unforeseen consequences of well intended policies may need revising at any time in the implementation process. Until private corporations and world leaders release the facts pertaining to their outer space and off world activities it will be difficult to follow this law through the policy process since the space commerce activities remain obscured from the public. However, there have been prominent world leaders who have publicly and conspicuously made statements about releasing this information to the public.
In a CNN interview on April 7, Clinton’s campaign chief, John Podesta Said, “The U.S. Government can do a much better job in answering the quite legitimate questions that people have about what’s going on with unidentified aerial phenomena.”
In a 2002 news conference at the National Press Club in Washngton D.C. Podesta said, ““It’s time to open the books on questions that have remained in the dark, on the question of government investigations of UFOs. It’s time to find out what the truth really is that’s out there. We ought to do it, really, because it’s right, because the American people, quite frankly, can handle the truth, and we ought to do it because it’s the law.” (Huf-Post, 2016)
Additionally, former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself has made the release of UFO files a central theme of her 2016 presidential campaign stating,
“If I am elected, I will reveal the real truth about aliens” and further added “Maybe we could have, like, a task force to go to Area 51.”
There appears to be a progressive move to disclose the presence and existence of Extraterrestrials from several world governments including the Vatican, who recently sponsored a UNICEF (Aug 2015) public service announcement promoting ‘Tolerance for Extraterrestrial Life” featuring a humanoid child with large eyes and slightly green skin but otherwise mostly humanoid in appearance.
The fact is there is evidence that disclosure is imminent or the Vatican and John Podesta would not make this information public. But, this is not the first time the Vatican expressed their opinion about aliens. In May of 2014, during a Sunday Homily in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis stated that he would be “willing to baptize aliens if they came to the Vatican”, asking “who are we to close doors” to anyone - even Martians” ( 2014, www.independent.co.uk ). Later that year the Pope made an additional comments on the subject, according to Dr. Michael Scalla of Exopolitics.org,“
“In a statement before the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on October 27, Pope Francis I endorsed the view that extraterrestrial life – which he refers to as “beings of the universe” – has evolved in ways that is consistent with the plans of “God the creator.” He explained how the Catholic Church views the Big Bang and evolution as scientific processes underpinned by “the plan of the creator.” Pope Francis has officially moved the Catholic Church away from the idea of “God the creator” as a magician or demiurge creating the universe in an act of omnipotence over six days, to a more scientific view that God works mysteriously behind the scenes planning the evolution of life on Earth and the Universe. The Pope’s statement reveals his view that intelligent extraterrestrial life has evolved in a manner that is consistent with “the plan of the creator,” thereby making it possible for extraterrestrials to act in ways that further this plan. The Pope’s statement is a surprising endorsement of the view that the activities of intelligent extraterrestrial life in the universe can be part of a universal plan by “God the creator”. Consequently, Pope Francis’s statement is preparing the Catholic world that extraterrestrial life visiting our world in UFOs may be part of “the plan of the creator.”( )
Other Vatican officials have also made public comments about aliens and how we should treat them,
“Pope Francis is not the first one to hint at alien baptism. Vatican scientist Guy Consolmagno suggested in 2010 that aliens might have souls and could be baptized if they asked for it.
“Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul,” Consolmagno said in a talk preceding the British Science Festival in Birmingham”. (Huff Post- 2014)
Last year former NASA Astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell revealed that “not only are aliens real, they are benevolent creatures who saved humankind from turning ourselves to ash in a full-blown nuclear war”, in a Maxim.com article (Aug. 2015).
We are indeed living in different times where governments and organizations around the world are preparing for the disclosure of files and evidence related to Extraterrestrials and their involvement with humanity. Bill H.R. 2262 and H.R 1508 are merely a reflection of the inevitable reality we must all come to accept and that is that we are not alone on this planet and in fact, if we haven’t already visited asteroids and other celestial bodies and know that it is possible to reach them, know their composition, know how to utilize their natural resources for human utilization and what humans need to do accomplish this, then how could there be a bill or law passed to accomplish such activities? I have never heard of theoretical legislation; Bills cannot become passed into law based on a theoretical model. There has to be some advanced knowledge of this kind of operation in outer space in order for the congress of the United States to pass a bill such as H.R. 2262 into Law.
The Evaluation process of this bill is yet to be realized for evaluation, however, although the law states that the “beneficiaries of this mining must belong to mankind.” The interdiction of reporting on this topic has left humanity in the dark and only the elite corporations and government secret space programs will have access to the discovered information and accoutrements that will be necessary for this endeavor into outer space. The U.S. Government has indicated this bill will end the human nonconsensual conscripted labor used on off world production facilities. There is, however, news of recent from the United Nations announcing the opening of ‘United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), whose purpose is to draft protocols for the inevitable meeting of Extraterrestrials. This was prompted by our Kepler and Corot satellites that are detecting earth like planets and that we must prepare for the likelihood of other life forms. This may be the source for Evaluation of Bill H.R.1508 as part of H.R 2262. However, the wait may not be as long as it appears. Space X has just announced its new Red Dragon rocket that will be launched in 2018 to begin colonizing Mars.
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Posted with permission from Louisa at: https://thecanarychroniclesblog.wordpress.com