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Roban explores space station opportunities

Bermuda is to reach for the stars and create legislation to govern space exploration mission control centres on the island.

Walter Roban, the Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs, added the island would forge ahead with laws and regulations to cover the establishment of asteroid mining.

Mr Roban said: “We will be moving forward in formalising our current process in the form of earth station regulations. This will ensure transparency and consistency.

“Companies are interested in establishing earth stations in Bermuda and a well-organised process is welcomed.

“There is a practical aspect in this as well in that Bermuda should proactively identify appropriate sites where earth stations can be located.”

Mr Roban was speaking in the House of Assembly as he delivered a report on last week's trip to a space symposium organised by the Space Foundation in Colorado.

He added: “Companies such as Planetary Resources, for example, which is actively pursuing asteroid mining can only do so within a legislative framework that is in its infancy at this time.”

Mr Roban said: “In addition to space mining, we identified in-orbit satellite servicing as a new activity with potential commercial purpose.

“Earth observation, while not new, has a commercial component separate from the expected military purposes that has also sparked great interest in the industry.

“We believe there could be legal, regulatory and administrative roles for Bermuda in supporting these new and emerging technologies and business models.”

Mr Roban added he had also had talks with space agencies for several countries, including the UK, France, Canada and European organisations, which had highlighted the need for science, technology, engineering and maths education on the island.

He added he had also highlighted the island's ties to the Nasa space programme dating back to the 1960s, which continued to the present with Nasa's mobile tracking station on Cooper's Island.

He said: “One of our biggest challenges will be raising awareness about Bermuda's space activities and changing the way people think about our island.

“As part of growing our space economy, we will be concentrating on getting people to recognise Bermuda as a space-orientated and space-capable jurisdiction.

“We are optimistic about the prospect for success.”

Practical move: Walter Roban, the Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs (Photograph supplied)

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Published May 01, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated May 01, 2018 at 7:51 am)

Roban explores space station opportunities

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