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Advocates of space mining promise a post-scarcity world of abundance where 9 billion people aren’t scraping by a bare existence on the surface of Planet Earth. There is no shortage of utopian dreams when it comes to space exploration. Economically profitable resource exploitation in space is becoming increasingly feasible as more entities - national, public and private - are engaging in space exploration. But who owns Outer Space? With a potential resource boom in Outer Space, the question is crucial. According to the Outer Space Treaty (OST), Outer Space is the “province of all mankind". No government can claim sovereignty over celestial bodies or outer space itself. This is generally interpreted as denying private ownership. The OST is then sometimes claimed to be an obstacle to commercial space ventures. This talk will explore this current system and how to achieve a balances approach to space exploration and resource use.
Dr Kevin Orrman-Rossiter grew up fascinated by science. His early toys included a telescope, geology pick and a chemistry set. Aspiration to becoming an astronaut naturally led to studying Physics and spending research life in a lab, usually below ground. Since leaving academia, he has spent over20 years in industry research, marketing, consulting and commercialisation roles. He currently works in the Research, Innovation and Commercialisation portfolio at the University of Melbourne. He is a Royal society of Victoria Councillor, writes and studies history and philosophy of science; particularly about space exploration and antimatter…he loves antimatter!
Dr Morgan Saletta is a scholar of Marketing and Science and Technology Studies. He teaches in the Department of Management and Marketing and the History and Philosophy of Science program at the University of Melbourne.