Leonard David reports on a discussion of the legalities involved in mining space resources: Space Mining Projects Raise Legal Questions - Space.com.
Meanwhile, Planetary Resources pursues its asteroid mining plans, starting with space telescopes launched by Virgin Galactic:
Planetary Resources, Inc. Announces Agreement with Virgin Galactic for Payload Services
“LauncherOne” to provide launch capability for the Arkyd series of robotic spacecraft for the exploration and commercial development of Near-Earth Asteroids
Bellevue, Wash. – July 11, 2012 – Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, announced today an agreement with Virgin Galactic, LLC that will enable multiple launch opportunities for its series of spacecraft, including the Arkyd-100 low-Earth orbit (LEO) space telescopes.
Continuous, low-cost launch services for small spacecraft to LEO assists in accelerating Planetary Resources’ vision to make valuable space resources from Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) available to humanity. “While the Arkyd spacecraft line itself radically reduces the traditional cost of exploring the NEAs, the less expensive the cost to launch an Arkyd spacecraft to LEO, the more spacecraft the company will launch. The more spacecraft that the company launches, the faster it will create a future where access to asteroid resources results in a vast network of propellant depots ...