John G. Wrench,
Non-Appropriation, No Problem: The Outer Space Treaty Is Ready for Asteroid Mining,
51 Case W. Res. J. Int'l L.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.case.edu/jil/vol51/iss1/11
Has technology outrun the international law governing outer space? This dilemma presents itself as private entities become capable of space travel and new technology makes asteroid mining a reality. Although the Outer Space Treaty's "non-appropriation" principle prohibits nations from claiming sovereignty over space bodies, that restriction does not prevent resource extraction. The non-appropriation principle, interpreted alongside existing legal regimes, distinguishes between forbidden appropriation and permissible extraction. Consequently, the non-appropriation principle is most accurately viewed as a flexible premise from which the international community is free to fashion unique laws governing resource extraction in outer space.