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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Jason Snell for Yahoo

This Week In Space: Mining Asteroids, Reusing Spacecraft, and Orbiting Venus ↦

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) makes all the rules about air travel. But what about space travel? It turns out that Congress has actually barred the FAA from setting rules for it. A new law will now keep it that way until at least 2023.

Perhaps more interestingly, the same law allows for “commercial recovery of space resources” — meaning that if you could fire a rocket, go to an asteroid, and dig up a bunch of valuable metals, they’d belong to you. Right now the cost of going into space is the limiting factor in making a profit by mining asteroids. But it’s definitely possible that it will become cost-effective sometime this century.

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