Even as the United States grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump reportedly signed an executive order on April 6 that states that the country has the right to explore and use resources from outer space.
According to BBC, the order stated that the US does not need permission of international agreements to do this since it does not see outer space as a common area for resources.
According to reports, the signing of this order may end a decades-long debate, that had started with the signing of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which forms the basis of international space law and commercial activities in outer space.
The signing, experts have said, has to do with the depletion of resources on Earth. According to Benjamin Sovacool, a professor of energy policy at University of Sussex, the planet is "currently depleting the resources we have".
"Metals such as lithium or cobalt - which you need - are mainly in places like China, Russia or Congo. And it's difficult to get them," Sovacool is quoted as saying by Newsbeat, according to BBC.
Because it is difficult to source materials from different suppliers with different rules, countries like the US are looking at the moon, according to Sovacool."Mining on the Moon, with one entity, might be easier," he said.