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The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, slammed President Trump on Tuesday and accused him of attempting to take over other planets after the president signed an executive order establishing a U.S. policy in support of commercial mining in space.
The space agency argued the move damages the prospects of international cooperation in outer space, Reuters reported.
“Attempts to expropriate outer space and aggressive plans to actually seize territories of other planets hardly set the countries (on course for) fruitful cooperation,” a statement from the space agency said.
The executive order, signed Monday, “establishes U.S. policy toward the recovery and use of space resources, such as water and certain minerals, in order to encourage the commercial development of space,” said Scott Pace, deputy assistant to the president and executive secretary of the National Space Council.
Pace also noted that the order is essentially a reaffirmation of a decision made by Congress in 2015 that gives Americans “the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space.”
The principal set forth by the order — which appears to have especially upset Roscosmos — is that outer space is not necessarily global common ground.
“Outer space is a legally and physically unique domain of human activity, and the United States does not view it as a global commons,” the executive order stated.
In response to the news, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “any kind of attempt to privatize space in one form or another … would be unacceptable.” Though he noted that, at the moment, it was difficult to say whether the executive order should be seen as an attempt to privatize space.
The U.S. policy established in the order stresses that the 1967 Outer Space Treaty allows for the utilization of off-Earth resources, such as the water and ice on the moon, and asteroid resources.