Power corporations have recently announced plans to mine asteroids for precious metals and other materials.
And they are trying to circumnavigate current law.
The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 — a UN treaty signed by 102 countries, including the US — bans countries from appropriating any astronomical bodies. But there’s a dispute over whether this would apply to private companies mining asteroids.
Congress seems to be arguing that it does not (likely due to heavy handed lobbying efforts). On Wednesday, a House subcommittee discussed a new law that would explicitly give companies ownership over any materials they extract from an asteroid.[SOURCE](http://www.vox.com/2014/9/11/6135973/asteroid-mining-law-polic)