WHY Return to the Moon? - Page 5
Dissuade hostile intent
Space Laws and Treaties do not ensure all entities will abide by them. Most treaties have a clause that allow a treaty member to withdraw from it and there are those that have not or will not sign them. Laws can only be enforced where there is a will to do so, penalties applied, and a way to enforce those penalties. It is foolish to consider a country would "nuke" another for violating a space law or treaty.
Human nature has shown that anyone - a person, country or corporation - having manned presence controlling a function or resource will protect it for their profit. Mining of a space resource certainly applies. Control of such a resource permits the ability to command any price they choose for the resource. The technology developed to mine, refine and even transport those resources would be guarded secrets under patents. The physical presence of something such as a mining operation would include security of the personnel, equipment and denial of access to others.
In December 2018 NASA announced creation of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program. This program is to foster commercial partners to develop the technology of returning to (and operating on) the lunar surface. It will lead to developing systems such as mining. NASA has said it will be a customer to their services - this gives ownership and control of the technology to the corporate entities as well as the freedom to use those resources to their financial gain. There will be much international law haggling once these entities become operational. There will be some hostile intent. Perhaps this is why President Trump has ordered the creation of the United States Space Force.
I will be talking more about Bigelow Aerospace in A Lunar Depot .
Do you need more convincing?
Allow me to introduce you to Dr McKay. No he isn't from Stargate ATLANTIS but he is someone that would merit that position if it existed. Dr. Christopher McKay authored the research paper The Case for a NASA Research Base on the Moon. I could not find the entire paper on the "net" so I wrote Dr. McKay and he sent me a PDF. In a followup query to him I told him ideally I would like a link on my site for the reader to get to his full paper. His response was "Because I am a gov't employee any papers I write are not subject to copyright and are in the public domain. You can post the PDF I sent you." Thank you Dr. McKay!