Washington DC – The United States Congress passed a bill on Wednesday which would allow and encourage the mining of space and its asteroids by private companies.

The bill, known as the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015 or SPACE would make up for mistakes the US has done in the past, such as the failed recognition of the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC), back in 1993.

Now it is basically up to the Oval office to decide whether private companies should have this right on space, or not. Credit: Popular Science

The SPACE Act’s goal is to expand international industries and commerce by permitting private companies, meaning organizations outside the NASA or even the US military, to launch their missions into space in order to explore materials for commercial purposes. These explorations are not limited to the mining of asteroids for potential precious materials.

The bill currently waits for President Barack Obama’s signature in order to convert it into a law. However, the real pragmatism lies within the private sector actually acting upon it, taking into consideration that space missions are expensive and require state-of-the-arts technology. Therefore, many private firms may not be able to conduct commercial routes in our solar system.

Nonetheless, there are several companies that have been looking forward to space travels. According to Eric Stallmer, president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, passenger space travel may be available by 2017. He states that Boeing and SpaceX are some of the companies ready to develop “space taxis.” Boeing is currently developing a tower for its Starliner commercial crew program in the state of Florida.

Additionally, the bill addresses the issue of regulation and deregulation of the commercial space industry. It’ll provide said industry with 8 years of no regulatory oversight.

“It’s a real vote of confidence from Congress that commercial space matters, and we can shape and grow the industry without the burdens of the federal government,” said Stallmer.

Source: Financial Buzz