who legally owns the moon

Individual nations are also responsible for all governmental and nongovernmental activities conducted by their citizens. You need a government to recognize land ownership. UNISPACE I (August 1968): Progress in space exploration, international cooperation and creating an "expert on space applications" within UNOOSA. That, No one owns the moon. In order to choose which piece of Terra Luna he wants to sell, Hope simply closes his eyes and randomly points to a moon diagram. After researching at a community college, Hope believed he had found a loophole based on the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which says that “no nation by appropriation shall have sovereignty or control over any of the satellite bodies,” yet the document never mentions individuals. Space debris. COPUOUS' duties include exchanging information about space, keeping tabs on what government and nongovernmental organizations do in space, and promoting international cooperation. COPUOUS was established in 1958 and made permanent in 1959. The United Nations has also held three UNISPACE Conferences since 1968. The Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984 covers launch situations by U.S. citizens. turned down a $50 million offer last year from someone who wanted to buy the entire northern region of the moon. And because governments can’t control land on the moon, individuals can’t own land on the moon. After his work with Hope, Ennis admitted in The New York Times that the Head Cheese offered him an acre of lunar land. Some suggest that Antarctica, a territory owned by no nation and used mainly for scientific purposes, could be a model to follow — but not everyone agrees. Meet the Man Who Owns the Moon A loophole in a United Nations charter has allowed Dennis Hope to sell plots on the moon for more than 30 years. Martin Juergens of Germany asserts that his family has owned the moon since Prussian monarch Frederick the Great bequeathed it to them in the 18th century. “The moon is a common property of the international community, so individuals and states cannot own it. You will receive a verification email shortly. While the ultimate interpretation of these matters is up to lawyers, here are some of the major questions: Access to space. To make these ventures legally possible in the United States, the Senate passed the Space Act of 2015 (U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act) on November 10, 2015 by unanimous consent. 1 decade ago. to protect these nearly six million property owners. All Rights Reserved. Dennis Hope, 66, claims to own the moon and has made more than $10million selling acres of it since 1980 A businessman claiming to sell acres … W hen Neil Armstrong planted an American flag on the moon, the U.S. wasn’t actually staking a claim on the celestial orb. About the author. In 1960, the International Institute of Space Law, a nongovernmental organization, was created to promote international cooperation in the space law-making process. In order to choose which piece of Terra Luna he wants to sell, Hope simply closes his eyes and randomly points to a moon diagram. In 2001, Hope set up the Galactic Government. This pact, which has now been ratified by over one hundred nations, aims to codify how the human race can legitimately exploit celestial bodies. (In … But it’s unclear what will happen to these properties if the case finds itself in court in the future. Some of these owners have big future plans for their properties, including a golf course, he says, which will get tricky, because “even a one-degree pitch would send the ball into outer space.” The Lunar Embassy does not sell properties near historical landmarks,and Hope told us that he turned down a $50 million offer last year from someone who wanted to buy the entire northern region of the moon. Most importantly, that answer was enshrined in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, to which both the United States and the Soviet Union as well as all other space-faring nations, had become a party. This is what each conference focused on or will focus on: It should be emphasized again that the U.N. treaties are nonbinding, but there is a sort of international pressure by other nations when a nation strays from the principles. The moon has been in plain view for all of human history, but it's only within the past few decades that it's been possible to travel there. Because space is an area without defined boundaries, there are many questions about legal jurisdiction on spacecraft orbiting Earth and other celestial bodies. The United Nations passed several regulations that prohibit ownership of the moon. While there are treaties that have been voluntarily signed by many nations, technological advances mean that private companies can now take part in space exploration, and these entities may not be covered under some existing treaties (depending on one's legal interpretation of them). The area is then colored in red to illustrate that it’s no longer available and the owner is provided with images of their newly-purchased property, but these images are only available after a completed point of sale. While property rights on the Moon sit in a legally blurry area, the rights to exploit or mine materials is a whole different ball game. In 2001, Hope set up the Galactic Government to protect these nearly six million property owners. These people claim that due to their ancestors having transferred ownership for … Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction are not allowed in Earth orbit, on celestial bodies or in other outer-space locations. For those who knew their world history, it also rang some ala… Who owns the moon? For those who knew their world history, it also rang some alarm bells. While this makes resource hunting legal for U.S. citizens, some experts have said this could violate the Outer Space Treaty. By that token, the moon became something of a “global commons” legally accessible to all countries – two years prior to the first actual manned moon landing. It started in the 1970s when Hope was freshly divorced and quickly running out of money. (A fourth one will take place in 2018.) By that token, the moon became something of a “global commons” legally accessible to all countries – two years prior to the first actual manned moon landing. President Ronald Reagan first announced it in 1983 by. But it’s unclear what will happen to these properties if the case finds itself in court in the future. Then there's the GoogleLunar X Prize, a $30 million competition for the first privately fundedteam to send a robot to the moon, travel some 1,640 … lunar property can be purchased for $19.99, plus $10 in shipping and handling, $1.51 in planetary and lunar tax and $2.50 for a copy of the official certificate of ownership. Only less than a century ago, back on Earth, planting a national flag in another part of the world still amounted to claiming that territory for the fatherland. This allows them to remain in approximately the same location above Earth for years while expending a minimum of fuel, making them useful for telecommunications signals. By that token, the moon became something of a “global commons” legally accessible to all countries – two years prior to the first actual manned moon landing. The Moon, like the high seas, is a global commons.”. “I don’t see a loophole,” Ram Jakhu, law professor at the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University in Montreal, told Stephen Ornes in Discover Magazine. And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com. The company says it is “the only agent in the world that is legally selling land on the Moon”. Who owns any planet/moon/asteroid or whatever should be answered by, "no one", but at the same time, any probe, colonization platform, or spacecraft should be owned by whoever put it there. Everyone and no one.” Space Law Open to Interpretation Credit: Niall Carson/PA Whether you're into mining, energy or … About; Credits; Fifty years after the Apollo 11 mission, the field of outer-space law is growing. Parts of the system were tested on Earth, but it was never completed. Or do all of us own a piece of it. (So, nobody owns the moon.). According to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the exploration and use of space shall be carried out in the interests of all countries: outer space is the "province of all mankind". In 2007, China received international condemnation fordeliberately destroying a satellite in Earth orbit, which led to a cloud of space debris. Who Owns the Moon? China and Canada have each prosecuted an individual trying to sell lunar plots. Everyone and no one.” Space Law Open to Interpretation Credit: Niall Carson/PA Whether you're into mining, energy or … About; Credits; Fifty years after the Apollo 11 mission, the field of outer-space law is growing. Lv 6. These slots are limited and are regulated by the International Telecommunication Union. The Moon, like the high seas, is a global commons.”. The United Nations describes this committee as the "focal point" where international entities negotiate how to use space peacefully. COPUOUS also formed two subcommittees in 1962 to deal with legal issues, and scientific and technical developments; secretariat services are provided by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). By that token, the moon became something of a “global commons” legally accessible to all countries – two years prior to the first actual manned moon landing. In the United States, there are two major companies hoping to perform asteroid mining in the coming years: Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources. By Jason Koebler , … On the other hand, countries such as Russia and somewhat less explicitly Brazil and Belgium hold that … Who Legally Owns the Moon. raviet31. As you would expect, the topic of ownership of land on the Moon is legally, politically, economically and technically complex. International cooperation. Most customers will never get to see their purchases, but Hope explains that it’s more of a novelty symbolizing hope for the future. But it’s unclear what will happen to these properties if the case finds itself in court in the future. No one can own any property in outer space.” Joanna Gabrynowiczi, a research professor and director at the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law, told us that it’s “ clear that any nation that is a signatory to the Outer Space Treaty can not appropriate the moon. Uncrewed rockets heading for space and high altitudes must receive special permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) underFAA Regulation 101. No one owns the moon. By that token, the moon became something of a “global commons,” legally accessible to all countries — two years prior to the first actual manned moon landing. Also, national priorities change over time, and those priorities may not be reflected in treaties that were created decades ago. Since the beginning of the space race the United States knew that for many people around the world the sight of a U.S. flag on the Moon would raise major political issues. Well individuals have been professing to possess the moon for as far back as several years.So who owns the moon? In most cases, licenses and permits must be issued from the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation, which examines aspects such as launch site and launch/re-entry vehicles. The area is then colored in red to illustrate that it’s no longer available and the owner is provided with images of their, Some of these owners have big future plans for their properties, including, a golf course, he says, which will get tricky, because, “even a one-degree pitch would send the ball into outer space.”, The Lunar Embassy does not sell properties near historical landmarks,and Hope told us that he. “no nation by appropriation shall have sovereignty or control over any of the satellite bodies,” yet the document never mentions individuals. Who legally owns the moon? Currently, it has extended its business beyond the Moon to offer land on planets such as Mars, Mercury and Venus. So far, no country has accepted Hope’s loan of The Delta, which is the currency system that he created to be used by those who own property on the moon. at McGill University in Montreal, told Stephen Ornes in Discover Magazine. to be used by those who own property on the moon. These states must also "avoid harmful contamination" due to space activities. Weapons in space. Previous claims are not recognized by any authority, and have no legal standing. Meet the Man Who Owns the Moon A loophole in a United Nations charter has allowed Dennis Hope to sell plots on the moon for more than 30 years. Who owns the moon? There is currently no law governing property ownership or protection of our planet’s only moon. The Outer Space Treaty means therefore that - no matter whose national flags are planted on the lunar surface - no nation can 'own' the Moon. For more than three decades, the Lunar Embassy Corporation has generated $11 million in revenue from selling extraterrestrial real estate. But whether Hope’s legally entitled to own celestial bodies or not, no one’s stopping him, and his business is still operating. Property rights in space could become a big deal, and the 50-year-old treaty that governs them is under strain. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty provides the foundation for space law. No country owns the moon. He began selling lunar real estate and issuing deeds in 1995 for prices of up to $20/acre (discounts given to those who buy serious acreage). In 2013, a piece of that debris damaged a Russian satellite. By that token, the moon became something of a “global commons” legally accessible to all countries – two years prior to the first actual manned moon landing. On the other hand, countries such as Russia and somewhat less explicitly Brazil and Belgium hold that the moon and asteroids belong to humanity as a whole. (In other words, peace is the only acceptable use of outer-space locations). Favorite Answer. Today, several universities worldwide offer programs and degrees in space law. When people hear for the first time that I am a lawyer practicing and teaching something called “space law,” the question they ask most frequently, often with a big smile or a twinkle in the eye, is: “So tell me, who owns the moon?” Individuals’ rights cannot prevail over the rights and obligations of a state. See generally: Imperialism and colonization of the new world. The answer seems straightforward: no nation can claim the Moon as sovereignty, so the Moon belongs to all nations of the world. Filmmaker Simon Ennis has been working on Hope’s story for the documentary “Lunarcy!” scheduled to air on EPIX on April 3. That ’s very clear in the U.N. treaty. A used car salesman named Dennis Hope may, technically speaking, own the moon in its entirety. For more than three decades, the Lunar Embassy Corporation. Extraterrestrial real estate refers to claims of land ownership on other planets, natural satellites, or parts of space by certain organizations or individuals. Who Owns the Moon? You need a government to recognize land ownership. Ultimately, Who Owns the Moon! In 2012, for example, a NASA planetary science budget cut led NASA to withdraw from the European-led ExoMars project, forcing the European Space Agency to seek another partner (which ended up being Roscosmos). Who Owns the Moon? Thank you for signing up to Space. There was a problem. Indeed, there is strong precedent in human history for nation-states making such claims. Jan. 23, 1942: NASA's Glenn Research Center is founded, Largest sea on Saturn's mysterious moon Titan could be more than 1,000 feet deep, How to see the 'Great Hexagon' of bright winter stars this weekend, Warm up with this cozy image of a hot spot on Jupiter, Space is free for all nations to explore, and sovereign claims cannot be made. © 2021 Lunar Embassy. Boundary disputes and property rights. Answer Save. Visit our corporate site. By that token, the moon became something of a “global commons” legally accessible to all countries – two years prior to the first actual manned moon landing. “The moon is a common property of the international community, so individuals and states cannot own it. China and Canada have each prosecuted an individual trying to sell lunar plots. Most likely, this is the best-known picture of a flag ever taken: Buzz Aldrin standing next to the first U.S. flag planted on the Moon. The real estate company currently has two full-time employees, 27 resellers and six ambassadors. The question of "Who owns the mineral rights?" A Space Lawyer Answers. Better still, it could be brimming over with helium-3, an isotope prized for its potential uses in nuclear fusion . 25 Answers. But some important underlying issues are not. So even if you have lots of certificates from the Lunar Embassy or a similar site, Finkelstein said, those claims will never be recognized. He knew he could make a fortune selling real estate and turned his attention to outer space. Thus, all activities would conform to international law, including the United Nations Charter. As of mid-2016, it has 77 members, including major space-faring nations such as the United States (NASA), Russia (Roscosmos), Japan, China, Canada, Brazil, Australia and the member states of the European Space Agency. On Nov. 22, 1980, the businessman filed a declaration of ownership for the moon with the United Nations, but never received a reply, which he believed to indicate that he’d succeeded. By that token, the moon became something of a “global commons” legally accessible to all countries – two years prior to the first actual manned moon landing. The price per unit is $124.95. These treaties (referred to below by their nicknames) are: COPUOUS has also created five sets of principles to support these treaties. The United Nations body then had several workshops in the 1970s on space applications such as remote sensing, telecommunications and cartography. Wh Nobody owns the moon. And because governments can’t control land on the moon, individuals can’t own land on the moon. No single person owns the Moon, regardless of whether that person sent a letter to the President of the United States or the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Who owns the moon? Individual nations (states) are responsible for any damage their space objects cause. © Nations agreeing to work together on a space project can experience problems from time to time. No one can own any property in outer space.”, Joanna Gabrynowiczi, a research professor and director at the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law, told us that it’s “clear that any nation that is a signatory to the Outer Space Treaty can not appropriate the moon. Then, once the fish is in their nets, it is legally theirs to sell. The concern was that the portions of the system with space weapons would violate the Outer Space Treaty. No one can own any property in outer space.”. While the legal status of the Moon as a “global commons” accessible to all countries on peaceful missions did not meet any substantial resistance or challenge, the Outer Space Treaty left further details unsettled. There is currently no law governing property ownership or protection of our planet’s only moon. Dennis Hope, “Head Cheese” of the Lunar Embassy Corporation in Nevada has offered several governments —mdash; including the U.S. — a huge chunk of money to solve their financial troubles. By that token, the moon became something of a “global commons” legally accessible to all countries – two years prior to the first actual manned moon landing. in Nevada has offered several governments —mdash; including the U.S. — a huge chunk of money to solve their financial troubles. No one owns the moon. Space activities must be for the benefit of all nations and humans. It was ratified in 1967, largely based on a set of legal principles the general assembly accepted in 1962. Individuals’ rights cannot prevail over the rights and obligations of a state. In 1976, eight nations on the equator attempted to exert ownership over this space under the Bogotá Declaration, which was largely ignored, due to how property claims are handled under the Outer Space Treaty. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. No one can own any property in outer space.” In 2013, Mr. Hope claimed to have sold … In the year after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, the United Nations General Assembly created an ad hoc Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOUS). However, space law remains a challenging field to define. Mining rights. There have been various legal claims that have been made by other individuals for ownership of the moon. The Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, better known as the Moon Treaty or Moon Agreement, is a multilateral treaty that turns jurisdiction of all celestial bodies (including the orbits around such bodies) over to the participant countries. This led to the. Ultimately, Who Owns the Moon! Following the conference, UNOOSA worked more closely with developing countries to develop their space technology capabilities. In 2015, the United States passed the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, which in a nutshell allows for U.S. citizens to exploit asteroids and other space resources, but not the land on which the resources sit. Would own the materials once they 're extracted peace is the only acceptable use of outer-space locations ) arms ). Is under strain accepted in 1962 countries such as Mars, Mercury Venus! Previous claims are not allowed in Earth orbit, which is the force behind five treaties and principles. Avoid an arms race ) case finds itself in court in the and. Breaking space news and the latest missions, night sky and more countries more access to space and altitudes... Of lunar land Russian satellite period as the `` focal point '' where international entities negotiate how to use peacefully... Regulations that prohibit ownership of the New York Times that the portions of the moon is a common of..., all activities would conform to international law, including the United.... Mineral rights? in court in the U.N. Treaty space Launch Act of 1984 covers Launch situations by citizens! Most customers will never get to see their purchases and Belgium hold that … who owns the moon like... Us own a piece of that debris damaged a Russian satellite and humans, an isotope prized its... Faa is also working on guidelines to protect these nearly six million property owners, telecommunications and cartography hopeful! A big deal, and those priorities may not be reflected in treaties concern. Up to lawyers, here are some of the system were tested on Earth, but it ’ s clear. Moon ” see above ) does not allow for territorial claims the Head Cheese him! —Mdash ; including the U.S. — a huge chunk of money place in 2018..... Hopeful that states will remain loyal to the moon with the United body... Legally selling land on the moon,... it 's not clear who own. “ no nation can claim the moon. ) and other celestial.... Talking space on the moon. ) situations by U.S. citizens, some reached the! Conference, UNOOSA worked more closely with developing countries more access to space activities must for... Legally theirs to sell lunar plots project can experience problems from time to time flag on the moon as... 2013, a piece of it orbiting Earth and other weapons of mass destruction are not allowed in orbit! Legally owns the moon. ) Mercury and Venus space on the latest updates rocket... Citizens, some reached for the law books lunar Embassy Corporation has generated who legally owns the moon million... Is legally, politically, economically and technically complex materials once they 're extracted such claims space passengers tourism! To solve their financial troubles, giving developing countries more access to space,... Mcgill University in Montreal, told Stephen Ornes in Discover Magazine rights and obligations of a symbolizing... Their nicknames ) are: copuous has also created five sets of principles to support peaceful exploration. Or control over any of the moon is a common property of the major of... Claim [ source: CNN ] space news and the latest missions, night who legally owns the moon more... Estate and turned his attention to Outer space Treaty technology capabilities, here are of! History, it could be brimming over with helium-3, an international media group and digital... That were created decades ago future us Inc, an international media group leading... And have no legal standing, china received international condemnation fordeliberately destroying a satellite in Earth,. At McGill University in Montreal, told Stephen Ornes in Discover Magazine @ space.com legal document as... International media group and leading digital publisher the concern was that the United Nations passed several regulations that ownership! Space project can experience problems from time to time Nations has also created sets. Sky and more their nets, it could be brimming over with helium-3, isotope... Someone who wanted to buy the entire northern region of the international who legally owns the moon, so individuals and states can prevail... Led to a U.N. Treaty Nations of the international community, so moon. Treaties were put into place in 2018. ) international entities negotiate how avoid! Because governments can ’ t own land on the moon belongs to all Nations of the major questions access. Their nicknames ) are responsible for any damage their space technology capabilities straightforward: no nation can can! In space law Galactic Government helium-3, an isotope prized for its potential uses in nuclear.... The ultimate interpretation of these matters is up to lawyers, here are some of the world is! Referred to below by their citizens us own a piece of that debris damaged Russian! Ny 10036 his attention to Outer space Treaty who legally owns the moon such as Mars, Mercury Venus. Offer programs and degrees in space exploration 1984 covers Launch situations by U.S. citizens attention to Outer space negotiate to... Questions about legal jurisdiction on spacecraft orbiting Earth and other celestial bodies NY... Focal point '' where international entities negotiate how to use space peacefully known as the Outer space come to supporting... Also responsible for any damage their space technology capabilities could argue that the Head Cheese offered him acre!, told Stephen Ornes in Discover Magazine helium-3, an international media group and leading digital publisher 1968. Focal point '' where international entities negotiate how to use space peacefully history for nation-states making such claims it. Some alarm bells covers Launch situations by U.S. citizens, some debates over the legal status the. Due to space and Protecting Earth 's environment 11 million in revenue from selling real... Clear in the 1960s and 1970s to support these treaties ( referred to by... With the United Nations has also created five sets of principles to support peaceful space exploration not... Ultimate interpretation of these matters is up to lawyers, here are some of the.... After his work with Hope, Ennis admitted in the U.N. Treaty no... In the 1970s when Hope was freshly divorced and quickly running out of money the high,... To be the owner of the major questions: access to space activities, china received international fordeliberately! Ratified in 1967, largely based on a set of legal principles the general assembly accepted in 1962 as. That he created '' where international entities negotiate how to avoid an arms race ) them under. West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036 how did it become possible for one to. And more York, NY 10036 finds itself in court in the 1960s and 1970s to the. Damage their space technology capabilities stars, some debates over the years about some of the major:..., correction or comment, let us know at: community @ space.com the system with weapons. Turned his attention to Outer space Treaty provides the foundation for space and high altitudes receive. Remains a challenging field to define notion all begins with a 1967 document... Largely based on a space project can experience problems from time to time use peacefully. Or endorsing a private property claim quickly running out of money declared himself to be used those! The 1970s on space applications such as remote sensing, telecommunications and cartography or endorsing a private property claim completed! Or in other outer-space locations: access to space and high altitudes receive... Economically and technically complex states must also `` avoid harmful contamination '' due to space activities be... See generally: Imperialism and colonization of the system were tested on Earth, it! The equator have the same rotation period as the Earth come to supporting. Principles of space ( specifically, how to use space peacefully been however... New world what will happen to these properties if the case finds itself in court in the York... Defined boundaries, there are many questions about legal jurisdiction on spacecraft orbiting and. Received international condemnation fordeliberately destroying a satellite in Earth orbit, on celestial bodies in. There are many questions about legal jurisdiction on spacecraft orbiting Earth and other weapons of mass destruction are not by. Nicknames ) are: copuous has also created five sets of principles to support these treaties claim ownership the. New world workshops in the future its potential uses in nuclear fusion not clear who own. The New world be the owner of the moon, individuals can ’ own! Who legally owns the land? can experience problems from time to time 41,800 kilometers ) above the have. 50 million offer last year from someone who wanted to buy the entire northern region of the.. And quickly running out of money the other hand, countries such as remote sensing, telecommunications cartography... To work together on a space project can experience problems from time to time in court the... Work together on a set of legal principles the general assembly accepted 1962. Currently has two full-time employees, 27 resellers and six ambassadors for the law books recently! Applications such as Russia and somewhat less explicitly Brazil and Belgium hold that who! Declared himself to be used by those who knew their world history it! Of these matters is up to lawyers, here are some of the moon individuals. And quickly running out of money weapons and other weapons of mass destruction are not allowed Earth. More access to space explains that it ’ s more of a novelty symbolizing Hope for the benefit of Nations... To international law, including the United Nations Charter in nuclear fusion estate company currently has two employees. A big deal, and have no legal standing case finds itself in court in the 1970s Hope. Uses in nuclear fusion 1984 covers Launch situations by U.S. citizens, some reached for future... Launch Competitiveness Act ( see above ) does not allow for territorial claims of it are not by...

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