Space exploration and colonization require consideration of extraterrestrial real estate. This refers to land that exists outside our earth’s atmosphere on celestial bodies such as planets, moons, asteroids, and orbits.
Many people claim they own land on the moon, Mars and other celestial bodies. To prove their claim they use certificates called ‘Lunar deeds’ or ‘Martian Deeds’ as proof of ownership.
This has led to the question of whether such a claim can be legally made. This debate has raged for years, with various legal theories put forward on both sides.
Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty requires non-governmental entities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, to obtain authorization and supervision from their designated State Party. This poses a major concern when it comes to laying claims to these bodies since it could potentially lead to land grabs by countries in violation of international agreements.
Dennis Hope, who claims to own the moon and other celestial bodies, has been selling land for several years now. He prices country sized plots of land at $250,000.
Some individuals and organizations claim ownership of parts of celestial bodies like the Moon, Mars, and other planets. When this occurs they often offer these spaces for sale to those interested in purchasing them.
In 1967, the Outer Space Treaty came into force and barred governments from claiming celestial bodies. However, this did not stop private individuals from doing so; many of these schemes have been deemed illegal by critics.
On this episode of The Space Show, Virgiliu Pop, an European attorney specializing in space property rights was the guest to share his perspective. He detailed the legal complications surrounding the sale of this real estate and questioned its legitimacy from the start.
In addition to legal issues surrounding claiming the Moon or other planets, political considerations need to be taken into account as well. Space exploration should be approached with neutrality and politics in mind; otherwise it could usher in another age of imperialism.
Dennis Hope has been selling country-sized plots of land on the moon for decades. He’s sent letters to various international organizations asserting his ownership over these celestial bodies and requests they declare it theirs.
But he has yet to receive a response to this claim, and has also asserted that legal reasons prevent him from declaring the moon as a country.