The UN wants to prevent an arms race in space. How? By reforming international space law, which hasn't been updated in more than 50 years.
The current treaty was negotiated during the Cold War, when only two countries — the US and the Soviet Union — had viable programs. Ratified by 111 countries, it bans space nukes and grants all countries the right to peacefully explore space — including the Moon.
The 1967 Outer Space Treaty also says countries can’t claim sovereignty over celestial bodies. But that was before private space exploration by the likes of Richard Branson or Jeff Bezos.
The UN thinks it's time to update the law with more concrete rules and norms not only to prevent conflict, but also to regulate things like future mining on the Moon.
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