President Trump took a giant leap for America this week by signing an executive order outlining US policy on commercial mining in space.
Upon Trump signing the order, entitled "Encouraging International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources," which gives Americans the "the right to engage in the commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space," the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, accused the US of attempting to conquer the galaxy.
Roscosmos said in a statement Tuesday that "Attempts to expropriate outer space and aggressive plans to de facto seize the territories of other planets will hardly encourage other nations to participate in fruitful cooperation."
Sergey Savelyev, Roscosmos deputy director responsible for international cooperation, insisted President Trump's space ambitions were tantamount to space colonialism:
"There have already been examples in history when one country decided to start seizing territories in its own interests and everyone remembers how that turned out," Savelyev said.
The Kremlin said colonization of space would be "unacceptable."
This is not the first time Washington has outlined the need to harvest resources from space. In 2015, Congress signed a law permitting companies to extract resources from asteroids and the moon.
After 50 years, NASA has recently released plans of returning to the moon by 2024. On the other hand, Roscosmos has said it will land Russians on Earth's only natural satellite by 2030. As it appears, both space agencies are locked in a moon race for this decade.
It becomes quite apparent at this point why President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act in late 2019 to usher in the Space Force -- the newest and sixth branch of the military — the first since the last branch, the US Air Force was established in 1947. That is because resource wars on other planets or the moon could be the next domain in warfare.