Each time you stare at the moon, one question strikes our brain. The question is who must be the owner of the moon and other planets. Simple answer the this question is that no one is the owner of the moon. According to moon treaty of 1979 no nation can claim moon or other planets as its property. If this is the case then who is Dennis Hope and what is Lunar Embassy.
WHO TOUCHED THE MOON FIRST
Before starting anything, first let’s answer this. Will it be okay to say that the first to touch the moon with bare hands owns the moon. If yes, then who touched the moon first. Neil Armstrong and Aldrin, were the first men to land on the moon. Among them Neil was the first to step on the moon. since, they wore space suits thus there was a material between their skin and moon.
According to NASA Terry Slezak was the first person to touch the moon. He accidently got lunar soil smeared all over his bare hands while removing the film from astronaut’s camera. Every year tons of rocks fall to the Earth. Some of them are also from the moon. These rocks are pulverized by the atmosphere and tiny particles get dispersed in the air. As a result the particles of these rocks can even be on your bare hands. Therefore, the first human to touch the lunar material was the first Homo Sapien hundreds of thousands of years ago.
MOON TREATY OF 1979
The moon treaty or the moon agreement was signed on December 18, 1979 in New York, USA. The treaty sets the legitimate guidelines for dealing with celestial bodies. The moon treaty says that:
- The outer space is the common heritage of mankind.
- If any nation leaves any stuff on the moon then no other nation can claim that stuff.
- International Telecommunication Union, an UN agency grants temporary orbits around the earth. They assign the particular orbit to a nation, only if the nation is capable of using and filling the orbit.
The moon treaty only prevents the countries from claiming their ownership on celestial bodies. It says nothing about an individual claim. Thus, Lunar Embassy and many other real estates came into existence.
Lunar Embassy is a company owned by Dennis hope. It is one of the bestseller of land on celestial bodies including the moon. Dennis Hope was a car salesman who was struggling to make the ends meet. Once he was driving and thinking about how to earn money.
The moment he looked at the moon, he realized that there is enough property on the moon. Hope researched about it and realized that the moon treaty do not prevents an individual from claiming the moon. Thus, he sent a letter to United States. The letter said that Hope was the owner or moon.
The United States ignored the letter and sent no response. From then Dennis Hope started selling land on moon. One acre of land was sold for $24.99. The person who buys the land, receives a certificate from Lunar Embassy as proof.
CLAIRE FINKELSTEIN ON LUNAR EMBASSY
Claire Finkelstein, a law professor who works on international law was horrified on seeing the Lunar Embassy website. She said that outer space belongs to everyone and no one can own it. Thus, she asserts that Dennis Hope’s website is a fraud. She also said that, no government can control the celestial bodies. Therefore, no individual can own property on moon. Because, there is no government to approve land ownership. According to Claire all the certificates issued by Lunar Embassy and other similar websites will not be recognized.
The moon treaty of 1979 declares that moon can’t be owned by any government. But websites like Lunar Embassy claims that they are the legal owners of the moon. It is clear that the existing framework isn’t capable of preventing the dangerous exploitation of the moon. Therefore, we reach to a conclusion that there is a strong need for a new treaty.