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Have you ever heard that it’s possible to buy property on the Moon? Is the Moon for sale? Can you actually purchase land on the Moon? There are several companies happy to sell you land on the Moon, but the reality is that international treaties say that no nation owns the Moon, that’s it’s there for the good of all humans, and so it’s impossible to buy lunar property.
First, let’s take a look at the official language from UNOOSA, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. In 1966, the US and eventually a total of 98 countries ratified a piece of legislation called The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States
in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.
It’s a big document, with lots of legalese, but here’s the most relevant clause.
- outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;
In other words, if you come from one of those countries that signed the agreement, you’re not allowed to claim ownership of anywhere in outer space.
There are a couple of companies, (I’m not going to name any names or provide any links), who claim that ownership of outer space is just like exploration on Earth. If you’re the first place to find somewhere, then you get to own it. And if you just say that something’s yours, and nobody can really stop you, then it’s really yours. They’ll charge a few dollars to “own” a few acres on the Moon. You might get the documentation, but no country on Earth is going to respect your moon property. And some day, long in the future, you might find someone setting up a lunar golf course on your acreage, with no one to complain to.
If you are going to buy land on the Moon, you’ve got to understand that this is for entertainment purposes only. The company selling the land doesn’t have the rights to it, and no other organization on Earth will respect the property right claim. If you still want to buy land, go ahead… but buyer beware.
Of course, if you were able to fly up to the Moon, and build a house, it would be pretty difficult for anyone to stop you.
Are you interesting in buying a star?