Wealthy nations carving up space and its riches

By Theodora Ogden

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How can any article, pretending to be a serious discussion of the world’s access to satellite resources, completely ignore the United Nation’s UNITAR, and their program called UNOSAT? UNOSAT makes satellite based solutions and geographical information easily available and affordable for the entire UN Family, member states, international organizations and NGOs.

While UNOSAT and the United Nations per se currently don’t have satellites that they own, they do have considerable and priority access to extensive amounts of satellite positioning and satellite data, for free or next to no cost, from the European Union's Copernicus Program. Several UN organzations, including UNOSAT, UNDP and UNICEF has been using Norwegian Space Agency data free of licensing and other limitations for several years now. Not to mention many long-term generous contracts that UN organizations have with national space agencies, such as NASA and the European Space Agency.

In fact, satellites play such a central role in the realization of the UN's Agenda 2030, that the UN has also established a Space 2030 Agenda to show how satellites and space can help them reach the 17 Goals for Sustainable Development. (

And no mention at all about the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO). And the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). .

Yet none of this deserves serious consideration, let alone mention in Ms. Ogden’s feature opinion. Instead, we are handed:

Right now, the major players in space are establishing the norms for exploiting resources.


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Good info, Skeptical. Thanks for the post.

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Just trust in human nature to do the right thing. What could go wrong?

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@Skeptical, while what you said is true, the article is not about access to satellite resources in Earth orbit. It is about how only the wealthiest nations will have the investment funds and technology to mine minerals and exploit other resources on the Moon, asteroids and probably eventually Mars. I don't have a good answer for that either. Smaller nations may have to team with wealthier ones to benefit from outer space resource exploitation.

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