Many experts caution that Russia and China may soon join forces to prevent the United States from dominating an ET mining base in space.
The former Trump administration had announced that by 2024, the country would be returning astronauts to the moon, in addition to proposing a worldwide legal framework for mining on the celestial body. The framework, named the Artemis Accords, encouraged citizens in the country to mine for commercial purposes, both on the moon and on other celestial bodies.
Led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”) in the U.S., the accords were signed in October by the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Italy, Canada, Luxembourg, Japan and England.
Former legislative director Elya Taichman explained that by failing to engage China or Russia as potential partners, the Trump administration not only risked the economic opportunity but also aggravated a national security threat. Taichman wrote that the Artemis Accords had driven Russia and China to work together in space, both out of necessity and fear.
Roscosmos, the space activities hub in Russia, was the first to express its opinion on the policy, comparing it to colonialism. Sergey Saveliev, the Roscosmos deputy general director for international cooperation, stated that history had shown what happened when one nation decided to begin occupying territories in their interest, adding that everyone remembered the results of such actions.
On the other hand, China, which became the first nation to land a space probe on the lunar far side in 2019, approached Russia to build a lunar research base together. Additionally, China President Xi Jinping also ensured that the country’s flag was planted on the moon in December 2020, more than 50 years after the United States first landed on the moon’s surface.
Historically speaking, China has been omitted from international space orders, led by the U.S. An American legislative provision put into effect in 2011 has limited the ability of NASA to work with China in space. Additionally, the nation is not a partner of the International Space Station (“ISS”) program.
Policy experts Emily Lawrence and Anne-Marie Slaughter both say that China and America should work together in space. They note that if America was able to work with the Soviet Union during the Cold War on space policy, then the country can also find a way to work together with China. Lawrence and Slaughter both assert that while the task may not be easy, it is necessary. Not only will the partnership establish an international framework comprising all spacefaring nations but it would also prevent the moon from becoming the next Wild West.
Back on U.S. soil, Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) is making full use of its uranium extraction facilities, namely White Mesa Mill located in Utah, Nichols Ranch Plant in Wyoming and the Atta Mesa Plant found in Texas.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/UUUU
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