Can I buy the moon?
For now at least, the moon is like the sea: everyone can use it, but no one can own it. In 1967 the U.S. and the Soviet Union negotiated the Outer Space Treaty, which states that no nation can own a piece of the moon or an asteroid. "You have a right to go up and take the lunar soil, but you don't have any right to draw a square on the surface of the moon and say, 'That square is mine,'" says Stephen E. Doyle, a retired lawyer who served as NASA's Deputy Director of Internal Affairs. If the Space Settlement Institute—which lobbies for private industry to develop land on other planets—has its way, new laws will allow space colonists to stake moon claims and start a colony.
Alan Wasser, the Space Settlement Institute's chairman, says that a private company should build a "spaceline," similar to an airline, between the Earth and moon. And because a corporation is not a nation, the Outer Space Treaty would not apply. Corporations have settled new worlds before. The London Company was a joint stock enterprise that established the Jamestown Settlement in 1607,providing transportation to pioneers in return for seven years of labor in America, where they cultivated tobacco and other crops for the company's profit.
Wasser says that land ownership—and the promise of profits based on it—is a necessary incentive to invest in space settlement. He is lobbying for legislation that would commit the U.S. government to honor future moon claims. But anyone can buy a deed to land on the moon right now. The Lunar Registry ("Earth's leading lunar real-estate agency") sells such deeds on its website for about $20 an acre. Doyle says that some kind of lunar governing body is necessary to recognize and enforce property rights, but no such body exists. So as it stands, the claims are not much more than fancy pieces of paper.
Doyle says that future moon settlers could look to the Antarctic Treaty, which designates the continent as a scientific preserve and prohibits military activity or mining; 28 countries maintain research stations subject to review by the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs, which oversees best practices of scientific research on the continent. "Anybody who understands the implications of imposing a national law on celestial bodies," Doyle says, "understands we are better to treat it like Antarctica and the high seas than we are to treat it like Manhattan." If not, he says, we would "take all the problems and contests we've had on the surface of the Earth for 5,000 years and extend them to outer space."
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This article originally appeared on PopularScience.com September 1, 2011.
its time to all of us being earthians ^^
bored? lets go mine the stars... ^^
i think treating the moon like the Antartic is a terrible idea, I think the Manhattan scenario is much mroe ideal. If there becomes a valuable commodity (ie. Helium 3 or whatever it is) there will be significant interest in the moon, and then maybe asteriods in the belt, for metal and material. having a lucrative reason for space is the only way we will start to colonize it. Anyone want to start a venture?
Bull crap. If you can go there and defend it. It's yours. When resources start to dwindle we will see if that treaty lasts.
".....U.S. and the Soviet Union negotiated the Outer Space Treaty...." I would guess countries like Japan, China, India and other countries may not agree with this treaty and have their ideas of the recourses of the moon. It should be really interesting as more countries venture and establish themselves in space. "The GOLD rush will be on!", so to speak.
With this logic the moon will have a Jamestown effect more than an Antartic one. There are people who truly desire to live on an extraterrestrial world or in space. For this they would definitely wish to lay claim to land and control it.
If comapnies buy land, it will be to the benefit of those companies and the country(ies) of the employees working for them. However, this will eventually lead to a difference in the interest of the colonists and the people back home forcing the formation of a government independent of the original governing entity(ies).
This will in turn cause the formation a of moon based sovereignty or sovereignties that no longer adhere to the global authority of Earth.
Treating the moon like Antartica would denote that people only go there to work, and not to live. While the moon is a harsh environment (like the arctic), it is also the first base ground for expanding human civilization due to the increased number of humans in existence (we all eventually will not be able to fit on this one world). That's why eventually the moon will be its own sovereignty (in due time) along with whatever other worlds we populate. Different groups of people will have different ideas for governing societies different from how we do things here (which will never be entirely unified by the way).
An annex to my previous statement: (2nd paragraph) this is how American countries were formed (Canada, U.S., Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Brazil, etc).
Imperialism: Coming soon to a planet near you. Avatar or Warhammer 40k, anyone?
Civilization is imperialism. Some forms are just a little more harsh than others, on the surface.
I believe the term you're looking for is Earthling.
The Fact that there is not a governing body on the moon telling you buy land from it pretty much makes it where you dont have to buy land on it. It is not the world's land it's the moon's. The only reason the idea that we would have to buy such land is to claim that land for a nation. If I went to the moon, and had the affordability to do so to colonize it I would make it clear I am not buying it from anyone else because I got there with my team or whoever came along with me to do such a thing. It is the right to develop free property. Trade will become important after the development stage. The moon colony would become its own nation, and maybe it would become allies with the world's, most importantly the most resourceful.
Boka, we are a little more civilized than playing "firsties" with the moon .There should have to be some sort of established public area before any land can be handed out for private use.
Although if it all basically public, who is to stop a private company from setting up shop anywhere they please? Property would still be private, which in turn would make the land you decide to build on private. (The land isn't yours but the mobile home parked there is) and I doubt there will be lot of demand for outdoor space...at first
From the movie RIDICK, "YOU CAN KEEP WHAT YOU KILL"; me thinks this would not be the 21 century way of thinking.
Still to divide a land mass no person has prior history of ownership. I guess squatting is a good way to go. Since living in space has not really truly been established. I think if you can plot you acre or more on the moon and live there say 1 year, it’s your land.
What do you PoPSCi thinkers, think?
FOr a cheap 5$ an acre price I can sell you any plot of land on the moon you desire!! HOWEVER you are resposible for taking legal action (or illegal) to secure your own ownership
There is a long history of thought on the subject. It's called homesteading. There are many different thoughts on the matter. It involves how property moves from being unowned to owned. Most require some form of improvement to the land in order to homestead it. So in effect you are right. If you visit the moon and come back to earth you can't own it. But if you send a robot to mine the surface and send the minerals back you would own the area in which you are capable of mining. In the west ranchers set barbed wire to hold their cattle and this in effect set up their property boundaries.
@trout007, Sir, there is no life on the moon as I sure you know. If a human lives there for say 1 year; I feel that is an accomplishment itself and improvement in the land. So if this individual staked out a claim; I feel he has homesteading fairly. Really, 1 year on the moon. That would truly be an accomplishment, yes. In the history of settling the west, barb wire came later and many a homestead had no such wire, but simple stakes in the ground. They let their cattle just roam free. Luckily the cattle are not a consideration for the land of the moon. I think the real goal, would be to mine Helium3, if possible. But if the homesteaders find water somewhere in the depths of the moon too, I feel water found on the moon would be worth like gold.
i think i would rather buy land underwater lol faster to get to, cheaper to get done, lots of unused space and will probably be a candidate to test if we can sustain life away from normal civilization. i believe reverse osmosis would be the key to life down there and having a hydroponic farming systems. Maybe even lightly filtering the hydroponic water and drinking that to get minerals... just saying
@mosaic, i understand your wishes but as I read teh REALSTATE options availbe, most properties are considered unknown. I am so sorry. Perhaps you like a place in Florida?
I'm setting up a nice little vacation spot on the moon. Any takers?
I wonder if other readers found this article amusing and wanted to comment their own amusing thoughts but were afraid to be bullied.
I enjoyed this article very much and found it extremely amusing. I would love to own a piece of the moon!
Its seems as I step out of the shower and pass the mirror, I am already blessed to having one of my own. To bad it's cracked....
Do you know why the crack in your moon goes up and down.
Well if it went side ways, as a child you would go
Blub-de-blub-de-blug all the way down the slide...
Some cracks are better than others...
actually bubba gump there has already been offers for underwater real estate lol do your research!!!
@mosaic, Here is something I said earlier, "....But if the homesteaders find water somewhere in the depths of the moon too, I feel water found on the moon would be worth like gold...."
I have heard in other science articles of water being trapped in the minerals of the moon. I can inmagine if the conditions pressure, and maybe having some depth in the ground of the moon, there could be a underground lake of sorts, trapped pool of water. But I really do not know.
Sir, you indicate their has been offers for underwater realestate. Now this statement really has my curiosity.
Part of the point of the article is about use of land of the moon and the descussion of ownership. So, my question to you factually, WHO is making the offer for real estate, How much did they offer? WHO did they offer to? WHY was this exchange going on and the other countries of the world were not made aware? HOW is it you have privy to the information and it seems the rest of do not? You make a joke of me, by stating do my research. Ok sir, please offer the recource you pull your information from and educate me and the other PoPSCi readers. Thank you.
@mosaic, I do comment and opinionate, but I am no expert on anything really. I appreciate you comments and opinions. I am not combatant to you or anyone else. I encourage you and others to make comments often. Take care.
I have read they have found life in the dry salt lake of Death Valley and life the boiling minerals surrounding Yellowstone National Park. I have head of life being found deep in the earth as they drill down. I have heard of life being found at the bottom of the ocean. It seems life and its variety so far to humanities surprise has no limits of its ability to survive and flourish.
Some scientist have suggested in theory that life could have been brought to earth via its falling asteroids.
I have also read that in the early days of the earth being formed it had smaller companion in orbit around the sun and in one of these cycles these two objects collided and made the earth and the moon.
Upon inspection of the material of the moon, it seems its material is identical to the surface minerals to the earth.
So, taking all this into consideration, perhaps in the depth of the moon, deep down in its mineral stricter is a contained pool of trapped water, protected from the vacuum of the space. This pool trapped water being also in the depths of the moon is fluid in nature and also because of the depth, pressure and gravity of the moon it is warm water. Combine that the moon is made of the same material as the earth and has been around for billions of years.
If there existed a pool of water in the depths of the moon, it also possible it may contain life in it.
Now go 100 years into the future when extreme many countries of our earth are working in space and on the moon. Take a country of the same leadership as say the leaders of North Korea. This country is very successful in technology and wants to establish a business and base on the moon. The take a very advance satellite and find a gigantic pool of water deep in the moon. So the make a base station on the moon and begin drilling to tap this water. The leaders of this country first goal are of greed and they just want to exploit the recourses they find on the moon. So they drill to the lake and quickly start making good use of this water. This base is mining Helium3 and using the water for all its own benefit. The workers at the space station use the water for drinking and growing plants. This water is part of them.
Now some bacteria or virus that infect humans on earth take a long time to actually show up and cause harm. They can live in us and flourish for a long time, before we become sick and or die. Sadly, this gives this type of bacteria or virus the strong ability to spread across humanity.
Well, now you can imagine where this gone. The workers of the moon eventually come back home to earth and spread across the earth these new bacteria. Perhaps billions of die or crippled with sickness.
The idea of who owns the moon and how it is exploited also sets the ideas of Mars and any other recourse we find in the sky…
This really does affect the entire human race on earth.
$20 an acre is way too cheap. Might end up with annoying neighbors who don't stop talking.
@Jupiter1987, I see your point clearly sir. I believe if the need arise to make new login; I think I will call it Brook, you know, for babbling brook. lol
And as for knowing the where about of Astroboy, I have never met this person. Seems like a nice person; has said a lot of supportive things. I imagine Astroboy enjoys science and the stars though; probably have lots of energy as well.
I'm 98% sure the moon landings were faked. They could not get there in the 60's because the technology did not exist to shield astronauts from the solar wind.
We might be able to go to the moon one day soon, technology has increased vastly since the 60's, especially force field tech.
@Better 2011...how many countries in the 60's had the tech to call foul? Only Russia, and they lied as well when they said they sent humans to orbit the moon. Everything on the moon, the rovers, the flag, the mirror, could have been placed there by probes. (although no earth based telescopes have observed them)
I repeat, the Apollo missions were the only missions to leave LEO (low earth orbit). Only mission. If they did that in the 60’s why don’t they send someone now? They can’t, the radiation in space is DEADLY. Not just the Van Allen belts, the Van Allen belts protects us from the sun. As soon as you leave the belts (which are deadly in themselves), you would be faced with the deadly solar wind.
Hate to break your fantasy, but no the U.S did not and cannot go to the moon.
But, in the future space, travel to the moon and mars will be possible. With the invention of a working force field (electromagnetic), also bladders filled with water or slush in the structure of spacecraft to reduce the impact of the solar wind.
This is the future of space craft
Now compare that with the pod that was not sent to the moon. That’s why we will be able to travel to the moon in the future and why they couldn’t do it in the 60’s
Aight Aldron, I don't think you understand the universe that we live in. I'm working on a physics degree right now and what you're saying about Van Allen belts and the solar winds are unfounded. How do you explain the ISS? Those astronauts go up and come down on a regular basis, the shuttle missions went up and came down on a regular basis. If the radiation belts in the Earth's magnetosphere were really that deadly because we have been improperly shielded this whole time we probably would have noticed by now....because all of those astronauts would have died of radiation poisoning.
And we DID in fact land on the moon, the proof is in the retroreflectors that we can use on a regular basis to measure(with extreme precision) with lasers the distance between Earth and the moon. Check out the link below:
I agree with you the solar winds CAN be extremely deadly. But you have to realize that the heliosphere of our sun is gigantic. And in order for a solar wind to be deadly it requires whats called a coronal mass ejection, and while these happen quite frequently on the sun's surface the biggest ones that have the ability to do damage to us here as far away as we are on Earth do not happen all the time. And since these are, like I said, required for the solar wind to be deadly and they aren't happening all the time the solar wind is NOT deadly all the time, if it was more of our satellites would have been raped on their way out of our magnetosphere. It's well documented, please by all means read up on it:
And I have a final plea. Don't post about what you know little to nothing about. By catering to conspiracy theories you're showcasing your ignorance. It would have probably cost the government more to fake a realistic lunar landing than actually go ahead and do it. Go pick up a physics textbook, learn REAL science not the bastardized pop culture edition.
But in the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war!
I think an avatar scenario would be (a little?) more likely than a scifi fantasy universe where creatures who feed on emotions come out of portals in reality and eat things while 8 foot tall super soldiers use rocket powered grenade firing rifles to carry out the will of their emperor who is in reality pretty much dead.
In other words, no, I am the resident Warhammer 40,000 fan. :P
These treatys will go out the window if only one or 2 nations poseess the capability for advanced space flight and precious resources are discovered. How will you enforce this treaty? Lofty BS, if you tried this during the California gold rush what would have happened?